The right classes in the right way

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The Best of the Best : Good Qualities of Classes

As the fall season quickly approaches its end, the spring season brings about new life, new encounters, and new classes. Skyline student Giselle Mahinay browses through Skyline College’s class catalog, hoping to find the classes she needs. When looking for classes, Mahinay keeps in mind the many important things she must remember such as general education requirements, transfer requirements, major requirements, and so much more. While these are racing through her head, she remembers how it is important to check in with her counselors constantly and to review the options she has. Mahinay wants good classes for the upcoming spring semester. However, it is unclear as to what makes a class ‘good’.

There are many factors and characteristics that make up a high-quality class. Students prefer classes that help them learn the material both efficiently and thoroughly. Mahinay recalls the times when she felt like she did not absorb the material of a class well, compared to when she did really well in a class and understood every lesson. By understanding the class fluidly, Mahinay was able to apply what she learned to real life and see herself make connections.

Classes are run by unique professors and each professor within a school or college teaches differently. When signing up for classes, the thought of receiving an unknown professor is daunting. This could determine a person’s outlook on a class before the class has even reached its full pace. One resource to refer to is a website called Rate My Professors.

Rate My Professors gives insight into a class or a professor through anonymous reviews from students who have taken the class. With each review comes a written review, a rating, level of difficulty, book requirements, attendance, the grade received by the student writing the review, if they would take the class again, and a thumbs up or thumbs down button for other students to rate if the review was useful or not. When asked about Rate My Professors, Mahinay only had good things to say.

“I think it’s pretty resourceful,” Mahinay said. “I feel more comfortable having an idea about what I might be getting myself into. It’s nice to see the professor in another student’s perspectives.”

However, referring to others in your life is always very useful as well. The people closest to you have their own experiences to share and oftentimes these experiences are able to help decide what path to pursue and what classes to take. Jarrod Feiner, an English professor here at Skyline, advised to do exactly that.

“Advice for students looking for a good teacher: ask their friends/fellow students what they think,” Feiner said. “Meet the instructor in office hours before the semester starts. There is, of course, ratemyprofessor.com, but I don’t think too much of it; the best professor that I ever had, who imbued all the qualities that I described earlier, had/has a mediocre rating on Rate my Professor.”

Rate My Professor is not the only option, however it is still a good starting point. Checking up on professors and also asking those who are close to you ensures that you have a non-biased opinion about the professor and how they run their class. At the end of the day, it is always good to find a professor that will help mold you into a better student.

Giovanni Bell, a Skyline student, expresses his opinion as such: “Good role models are what makes a good student.”

Each professor is unique in their own right. Different teaching styles and different kinds of content are what set professors apart. Professors that go above and beyond the normal lecture to make class a very interactive and interesting learning period are able to help students efficiently learn the material and be able to apply it effortlessly. Every professor runs their class in a different way. Younga Choi, a math professor at Skyline College, runs her class a little differently.

“I like to run the class as a video game,” said Choi. “Basically, I want students to practice, do it together, and play together. I like to provide these ‘games’ to students, which involves a lot of problems and practice.”

Skyline College has a multitude of different classes and subjects to pursue. Whether it be psychology or sociology, math or history, the possibilities are endless and the selection of teachers go on. There are many steps that you can take to ensure that you will receive the best teaching that you would prefer in order to have your “best class”. What makes a class the “best class” is what you feel is your preference when it comes to the qualities within a learning environment.

“It’s easy to teach the subject matter of the class; in my case, English,” Feiner said. “What is far more challenging, is to inspire students to value what is being taught and receive the subject matter in the first place.”