International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Student Preferences for Small and Large Class Sizes
Laura B. Koenig, Matthew Gray, Stephanie Lewis, Sean Martin

This study was conducted to examine class size preferences of college students as well as reasons behind these preferences. A survey was distributed to 162 students asking about their preference for enrolling in a large (75 students) or small (35 students) section for different courses. Subjects were also asked additional questions about why they preferred a large or small section and about their assumptions about large and small classes. It was found that students preferred smaller classes more for major-related courses than for general education and noninteresting required courses, although the strength of the preference changed depending on the order of the questions. The open-ended questions revealed that students liked small classes because of the professor-student interaction and the better learning environment but enjoyed large classes for reasons related to having more students in class and having decreased responsibility. The implications of these preferences were discussed.

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