Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bad precedent?

As professors we are always somewhat anxious that the legislature or the administration will "discover" that there is a lot of excess capacity on campus - particularly in the fact that classes are, generally speaking, only offered five days a week and only for about 15 hours a day.

At least one administration has discovered the latter form of excess capacity and is running classes during the "third watch":
Fair question, considering O'Neill's class begins just before midnight and runs until 2:30 a.m.

This semester, Bunker Hill Community College is offering two classes on the graveyard shift in a move to accommodate an unprecedented boost in enrollment attributed to the struggling economy as people look to augment their job skills without having to pay the tuition costs of more expensive schools.

I am a bit of a night owl, but teaching class from 12am to 2:30am would seem ridiculous on many fronts, not the least being that the retention of information during that time of day would seem highly likely to be less than during regular hours. It is possible that a class of night owls could do as well as a class taught during regular hours, but how many students will accurately predict their night-owlness?

I will go on record and state that there is an optimal level of excess capacity on campus.

full story here


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