My first international education exposure was at University of North Carolina,USA in 2003. I started my MBA program in the fall of 2003 and my initial response to the class size was of shock and confusion. We were a class of 25 at any given point and coming from a country like India where majority of us are used to a large class size I didn’t quite comprehend the reason for a smaller class size. As weeks rolled by I was starting to enjoy the comfort of a small class in terms of getting to know fellow classmates, easier one on one interactions with lecturers etc.
I looked up online and found out that interestingly enough, an overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed papers find ‘small class size’ an effective strategy for various reasons.
“One of the earliest influential meta-studies was by Glass and Smith in 1979.They statistically analyzed 300 reports involving almost 900,000 students. Once the class size fell below about 15, learning increased progressively as class size became smaller”. (William J Mathis, 2016)
In the day and age when MBA colleges are mushrooming all over our country and over hundreds of students are graduating from each Institute, the question to ask is - are students benefitting from a large class size?
Every class has its fair share of top, mediocre and below average performers. In MBA programmes, most of the time the faculty are focused on moving up the the bottom two categories of students to improve their level of understanding and knowledge. It is easier to work on students in a small class setup. Large class setups do not have this luxury.
Let us take a look at some of the key advantages of studying in a small class vs. a large class
Lack of Personal Attention in a Large class set-up
1. Attention: Personal attention and interaction stay unaffected in a small class format for both the student as well as for the faculty. Faculty will have time to address queries of each student personally and will also be able to pay attention to those students who need an extra dose of nurturing. This is not feasible in a large class setup.
2. Participation : When the class size is small, all the students get an opportunity to participate in various activities like- group discussion, individual presentation, role plays etc. These activities are the very foundation of an MBA programme. Also the overall class participation improves because there are lesser people competing to participate.
Giving room to participate
3. Feeling of oneness: For programmes like MBA, Students come from different
parts of the country. Coming from diverse parts of the country poses its own set of challenges. Hence a smaller class size will help them gel with other classmates faster. They won’t feel left out or dis-oriented which are the usual feelings associated with a large class size.
4. Grooming: Identifying the areas of improvement for each student and grooming them in their weakness areas is highly feasible in a small class setup. After completing an MBA programme, students will be entering the competitive corporate world and a lot of guidance with regard to Communication, Etiquette, Morale etc is essential. In a small class room setup faculty can turn into mentors and groom students. Mass-Grooming is just not possible.
5. Less Disruption : Often times during lectures, faculties are faced with the fine challenge of handling the student’s queries while making progress in syllabus completion. When there are more students in a class the disruption in a faculty’s lecture is high, as a result the faculty is not able to teach as per the module’s requirements. Small class sizes help both the student and the faculty in completing the modules at a proper pace.
6. Learning: The most important outcome of any Master’s programme is the learning outcome. If a student rates his/her Institute at number one for this particular factor, it is rest assured that one can blindly get admitted into that Institute. Learning outcome is proportional to the time spent by the student with the faculty inside and outside class. This is something that small class sizes can deliver and should be one of the key attributes to be considered while deciding to join an MBA Institute.
Hear how students from around the world are benefitting from a small class size.
Looking to derive benefits accrued from a small class size and study in an International MBA Institute, Register with Regenesys today. To know more about our programmes you can write to me at email@example.com (Prof. Sandya Jadhav, Senior Faculty, Regenesys Institute of Management)