Head: Schedule Shift
Dek: Classes move to block scheduling for fall 2011
Media theory, chemistry, photography, economics. Drop media theory, add study of lit. That doesn’t fit. Add American lit instead. Now economics doesn’t fit. Time to start over.
Scheduling for the 2011-12 school year at Albion College will work differently than it has in the past. The Registrar office has decided to switch to a block scheduling format. Drew Dunham, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Registrar, started looking at this at the beginning of the 2010-11 academic school year. After meeting with department chairs, a committee was formed to work on changing the schedule in order to create fewer class conflicts and to make sure classes met the full four hours a week Dunham said.
“We’ve changed the schedule blocking so that there are distinct class blocks each day throughout the week,” Dunham said. “They’re 65 minute blocks instead of 50 minute blocks. This way, faculty who want to teach three days a week can meet the minutes per week. Our unit system says classes meet about 200 minutes per week or so, so this way everyone can meet that requirement.”
For students, this means that there should be fewer issues of overlapping classes.
“One of the issues with the old system was that there were too many different blocks to put classes in,” Dunham said. “There are 21 different blocks now. I think it makes things simpler in a lot of ways for students. One is you always know when the classes start. You know that there will not be an overlap that you can’t predict.”
The new block schedule is going to be set up starting at 8:00 with classes running at 9:15, 10:30, 11:45, 1:00, 2:15, and 3:30. There will also be an evening block starting at 7:00 pm for those students who need to use it.
Along with these class changes, “Albion time,” or starting ten minutes after the class supposedly starts, will be gone. Instead, there will be a ten minute passing period between the scheduled blocks.
Students have conflicting reactions when it comes to the new schedule change.
“I like the idea of hopefully having less class conflict, but I don’t like that there won’t be the late afternoon classes,” said Matt LeFevre, Canton first year. “I liked the classes that ran into the evening. It’s easier for me to be more awake then and ready to learn.”
Members of the faculty have also expressed concerns with the new schedule.
“Because the new schedule restricts afternoon classes, it may create more conflicts,” said Ian MacInnes, head of the English department. “If it compensates by making things easier for students in other ways, however, the results will be positive overall.”
However, following registration, Dunham believes registration to have been a success—free of student complaint.
“there were very few poblems that came to my office… There were less time conflicts than in the past,” said Dunham.
He believes that next semester both academic departments and students will take full advantage of the new system.
Dunham states, “Departments will be able to schedule classes according to more open blocks and more evenly spread time out throughout the seven blocks.”