The challenge between students, faculty and large lectures 

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A common issue amongst college students is the lack of connection between academic faculty and students. Students at Michigan State University claim that this predominantly occurs in large lecture classes. 

“The lack of connection makes it difficult for me as a student to engage and understand the work I’m given,” Jazmine McCaleb, a kinesiology major at MSU said. “And based off of prior conversations I’ve had it has been evident that many people, especially people of color relate to me.” 

At MSU 50% of classes consist of 20 through 49 students, while 23% of classes consist of 50 students or more.

For every 17 students there is one faculty member. As the class size increases the likelihood of there being equal communication between each individual student and their professor decreases. 

“I feel like a number instead of a student,” Ziyah Jones, a junior at MSU said. “The lectures feel like I’m being talked at instead of spoken to.”

Some students argue that the disconnect is not solely based on the size of the class, and emphasizes that “it could also depend on the professor.”

“Some professors make the class more dynamic and motivate you to participate even if it is a large lecture,” Sofia Mireless, a student journalist said. 

She adds that a professor’s ability to maintain student engagement has a direct correlation with the connection students choose to have with the professor. 

While a fair amount of students reported that it is the responsibility of the professor to equally invest time into each one of their students, others state that this responsibility is on the student. 

Although there is a wide gap between the number of students compared to faculty, students still have the ability to make those necessary connections rather if it’s with the professor or even the teaching assistant. 

“I don’t expect professors to know everyone,” Aujanee Billy, a senior at MSU, said. 

Billy claims that students should find effective ways to put in effort to create bonds for success. Initiatives such as going to introduce yourself after class, going to office hours, or emailing your professor, are all ways Billy has developed a one on one connection with her professors. 

“Yeah in a large lecture hall your teacher doesn’t know everybody else but at least they know you and who you are because they are familiar with your face,” Billy said. “At the end of the day we are seeking their education from them so it’s not their job to try to figure out what we need help with or what we don’t understand.” 

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