Lecture Cost

Have you ever thought about per hour rates students are paying to sit in your classes?  To compute this for a typical undergraduate student, you have to take 45 contact hours for a three-credit course x 5 classes per semester = 225 hours x 2 semesters = 450 total hours divided into the tuition rate; graduate would be 360 hours based on 12 credits per semester.  Using this formula, cost per hour of class time based on current tuition rates would be:

SUNY Plattsburgh In-state Out-of-state
Undergraduate $14.38 $36.26
Graduate $30.19 $61.69

Of course, the cost formula is not really this simple, but it makes a point about the monetary value of instruction time for students; payment for exceptional advisement and mentoring during office hours also can be considered.  For most classes, hundreds of dollars are on the table, so to speak, when a professor walks into the room.  Do students realize how much money is wasted when they skip a class?  Do professors think about how much money is being paid for a class if it is cancelled?  What if full payment of a professor’s salary was determined by ratings of teaching excellence?

From our Shared Values:

Excellence in Teaching

  • Clear expectations
  • Model passion and professionalism
  • Timely feedback
  • Effective assessment tools
  • Engage students
  • Recognize and respond to students’ needs

We strive to uphold our shared value of Excellence in Teaching, as stated above, with passion.  Bringing deep value to teaching has been an ongoing quest for me.  This is motivated in part by the responsibility students in the School of Education, Health, and Human Services will have for making a positive difference in the lives of those they will serve.  With this in mind, I share something I read last week entitled, Five Types of Quizzes That Deepen Engagement with Course Content, by Dr. Maryellen Weimer, that can bring additional value to the classroom.  She presents five approaches:

  • Mix up the structure
  • Collaborative quizzing
  • Quizzing with resources
  • Quizzing after questioning
  • Online quizzes completed before class

Take a few minutes to read about these techniques (click here) and try one you have not used before.  Once you do, let me know about the outcome.  There are many ways we can bring value to the classroom.  Let’s make sure the value students receive far exceeds the “dollars placed on the table” at the beginning of each class because not only are we touching their lives, we are indirectly touching the lives they will touch in the future.

Bonus: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image (February 23, 2015).  Retrieved April 3, 2016 from: http://pbrnews.com/recommendations-for-raising-tuition-effectively/

Weimer, M. (2016, March, 30) Five Types of Quizzes That Deepen Engagement with Course Content.  [Web Log Post].  Retrieved from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/five-types-of-quizzes-deepen-engagement-course-content/