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Interactive vs. Lecture Classes

By Thomas Scavetta
Assistant Sports Editor

Do you ever feel the urge to glance down at your phone to read messages while your professor is teaching? Do you tend to gaze at the wall waiting for a boring lecture to end? Does the manner in which a professor handles his class determine the success level of a student? What types of classes have the greatest impact on students?

LIU Post students have differing views on the type of class environments they feel most comfortable in. Many students have taken classes on both sides of the spectrum: some purely interactive, others in a more traditional lecture format.

Robert Riepe, a freshman Broadcasting major, likes both teaching styles. “Math classes are visual, but the way you go through a problem can be interesting. Other classes like video production, where professors will take the camera and assist you, are more physically interactive,” Riepe said. “Media arts classes are more conversational, but you don’t use actual technology. So it’s interactive in a different way, which can be boring because only a few people might actually talk,” he added.

“I feel like some people don’t talk in class because we were taught in grammar school to be quiet during class,” Riepe said. Yet, he feels that it’s okay to speak up in class because he enjoys hearing what others have to say.

Other students feel that they get more out of lecture classes, and that interactive classes can typically be very distracting. “I’ve taken more interactive classes, but I prefer lectures. It’s more relaxing and easier for me to absorb the information,” said Alec Matuszak, a sophomore Journalism major.

Chris Jerman, a sophomore Business Administration major, also gives the edge to lecture classes. “I’m not a big fan of participating in class, so I’ll tend to take many more lecture classes,” he said.

Lecture classes don’t always get people involved, but they can allow students to focus on the message of the lecture and potentially learn more in that kind of setting. Think of it as studying for a test: when you study with your friends, you will be more interactive and help one another, but there can also be other distractions compared to studying alone.

In the end, it’s not what the class gives to you, but it’s what you take from it. The goal of college is for students to use their minds. Benjamin Gerdes, Assistant Professor of Media Arts, said that making classes fun and helping students improve their skills is his favorite part about teaching.

“In interactive classes, my teaching philosophy is students discovering through questions, projects, working, and it’s ultimately more satisfying. I teach mostly production classes, which tend to be more interactive,” Gerdes said. “I feel that when teaching lecture classes, you’re competing to hold students’ attention because they’ll start playing with their laptops and cell phones. In interactive classes, students can absorb more, but they need to put work into it,” he continued.

Regardless of what classes people take, the goal is to take something from it, and use it in everyday life. Everybody has a different taste and style of learning, so it’s important that students choose the right path and take classes that are beneficial to their academic success. Students can meet with their advisers to register for the right classes to meet their needs and learning styles.

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