Submitted by Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College on Thu, 10/15/2015 - 15:26

So, it appears that I will have 5 or possibly 6 students in my inorganic class. The smallest I've ever had this class is more like 10-12. Any thoughts or tips on teaching a class this small? I don't feel like lecturing will work (my organometallics class is regularly <10 and I don't lecture much there, instead I do this). 

This fall I am teaching gen chem with an emphasis on case studies and small group problem solving. I'm guessing I will try something like that...

Thoughts from the collective mind?


Kari Young / Centre College

The first time I taught inorganic, my class had only three students.  Normally, a class that small would be cancelled, but the College had just hired me and two of the students needed the class to graduate.  I had students read the text and answer questions (ala just-in-time-teaching) before class and then we worked and discussed problems during class time.  It was more like a tutorial.  I sat down at at table with them.  I did comparatively little preparation other than choosing problems.  My students realized that they all had to be prepared and they all had to talk because there were only four of us.  But they rose to the challenge and ultimately liked that the class was totally focused on their questions.

Lab is also super fun with only three students. 

Tue, 10/20/2015 - 12:54 Permalink