Most colleges and universities teach courses in a fairly standard format. There are lectures, consisting mostly of professors talking AT a class about a given topic, and then smaller classes that are taught in a more informal learning environment that often includes back-and-forth between the students and instructor. At a school like Regent’s which is attached to a much larger university, you may have classes in both styles. The following is based on our experiences as we remember them, so you may not find yourself in exactly the same situation. There are pros and cons that universally apply to both, however, and we felt we should discuss them in a post to help you learn more about them.
Lecture halls are bigger and have more students in them. Depending on your area of study, class size might decrease as you continue your education. Lectures are often taught by professors with help from teaching assistants or aides, and the most you would likely get to interact with the professor would be during office hours.However, office hours, depending on the instructor, may also be manned by an aforementioned teacher’s assistant. Lecture classes are often also broken down into smaller classes for study or tutor groups. It is easy to meet likeminded peers in that setting. While it is true that we all preferred the smaller college style of Regent’s, lectures are definitely a good way to go sometimes. They can often be easier to get into, as there are more spots. Some truly great minds are professors and the only other way you might get to see them would be if someone filmed one of those lectures and put it online. Big schools can attract big names, and their classes are popular. By teaching in a lecture hall, more students are able to experience a great professor.
On the other hand, small colleges do not often have lecture halls for many classes. You sit in a more typical style classroom and have regular access to your professors and staff. You can pose questions and be answered in a less formal setting. You tend to be graded by the actual professor and not some poorly paid graduate student. Your professor will know your name. The coursework will not be any easier, but you will have more access to the professor. If you attend a school like Regent’s, you will have full access to Oxford resources such as library materials and exam halls. Other small schools may not have as many resources and that can be a negative. Nowadays, if you have a good internet connection, that might not matter as much.Your ability to get your hands on some dusty old text as opposed to downloading a copy for a paper might work out to the same advantage.
Many people thrive in the larger environment of the lecture hall and others do better within the structure of a much smaller college. It depends on what you are looking for in your time at university and how you will learn best. If you have more questions about this topic, you can reach out to us in a comment and we will be happy to respond.