Students express frustration in online class size limits

Sheryl Lawrence

Some students feel online class size limits are unreasonable and are preventing them from registering for classes they need to graduate. 

Kathleen Harrison, communications manager for the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, said in an email there are multiple factors affecting class size limits.

“The class size limits may be determined by how the course will be taught, student need, instructor preference for (method of teaching), etc.,” Harrison said.

Online classes make up about 60% of the spring 2021 course schedule, which is similar to the fall 2020 semester, according to an analysis done by The Daily Texan.  

Sociology lecturer Lynette Osborne said there are not enough teaching assistants to support more students in certain classes.

“There aren't unlimited TA’s, there isn't unlimited money, … and if the professor wants to teach 100 students oftentimes there isn't the added support necessary,” Osborne said.

Osborne said it would be difficult to increase the number of students in some of her classes.

“I would love to reach more students, but the reality is, you can't balance that and still hope to get a good education,” Osborne said.

Neuroscience freshman Emma Babaian said the size of the class does not hinder her ability to learn or interact with other students. 

“If I really do have a question or need clarification, I can get it just as easily, regardless of the size of the class,” Babaian said.

Finance junior Blake Motl said with the online format students are not getting to meet new people, and increasing the amount of students in a class will help ensure students have prior acquaintances in the course.

“For me, the only way I have help in a class is if one of my friends happens to be in it that I've known from previous classes,” Motl said. “If the number of students in each class is expanded, then that increases the number of people that you (already) know.”

Neuroscience sophomore Emmanuella Bassey said she is required to take physics for the pre-med track, and was not able to get into any of the sections, which could affect her degree plan.

In an email, Harrison said the Graduation Help Desk team can assist students with this problem.  

“The Graduation Help Desk team works with students, advisors and faculty to ensure that our students can remain on track toward a timely graduation,” Harrison said.