March 7, 2010
Big Classes Encourage Experiments in Teaching
Cal State U. at Chico reworks courses, while instructors worry
Photographs by Paul C. Miller for The Chronicle
Back in 2005, officials at California State University at Chico asked students how to improve English 130, a composition course that almost every undergraduate there takes. One consistent response: Class sections should be smaller.
But in the years since then, the enrollment cap on English 130 sections has actually crept upward, from 22 to 30. That's no great surprise. Across the country, budget-straitened colleges have been quietly increasing the sizes of all sorts of courses. At