The Significant Benefits of Small Class Sizes in Higher Education Institutions
When it comes to higher education, many factors contribute to a student’s success. Curriculum, faculty expertise, and campus resources all play a role. However, one often-overlooked factor that can make a significant difference in a student’s learning experience is class size. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the benefits of small class sizes in higher education institutions. In this blog, we will explore why small class sizes are so important, how they can positively impact both students and institutions, and how AUS provides this small class size environment so our students can strive.
1. Enhanced Student Engagement
Small class sizes foster a more interactive and participatory learning environment. In a smaller setting, students are more likely to actively engage in class discussions, ask questions, and express their opinions. This increased engagement can lead to a deeper understanding of the material and a more fulfilling educational experience. At AUS, we pride ourselves on having a 1:7 teacher to student ratio, with no classes having more than 20 students, thus offering students the opportunity to have a greater level of engagement in the classroom.
2. Individualised Attention
One of the most significant advantages of small class sizes is the opportunity for personalized attention from professors. In larger classes, it can be challenging for instructors to get to know each student individually and address their specific needs. In smaller classes, professors can provide more one-on-one support, helping students succeed academically and develop a deeper connection with the subject matter. At AUS, our professors understand student needs, strengths, and weaknesses, so they can offer a more tailored learning environment. In addition to this, students receive individualised attention from our administrative staff and leadership team, as we ensure students have all they need to succeed and are willing to assist in a variety of ways to enhance their student experience.
3. Enhanced learning outcomes
Small class sizes have been linked to improved learning outcomes. Students in smaller classes often perform better on assignments, exams, and standardized tests. They are also more likely to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills — competences which AUS emphasises in our curriculum as these are the skills that employers demand in the job market. These enhanced learning outcomes can help students excel in their chosen fields and prepare them for success after graduation.
4. Collaborative learning opportunities
In small classes, students have more opportunities for collaborative learning. Group projects, discussions, and debates become more manageable and effective when class sizes are small. Collaborative learning encourages students to work together, exchange ideas, and develop essential teamwork skills that are highly valued in the professional world. Here, AUS focus on the practical application of education shines through, as students receive a hands-on learning experience through projects, case studies, simulations, and other forms of group work where they engage in collaborative learning. Our small class sizes help to promote this atmosphere of collaboration, while equipping students with the necessary skills for the job market.
5. Personalized feedback
Instructors in small classes have the time and capacity to provide more personalized feedback on assignments and exams. This feedback is crucial for students' growth and improvement. It helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses and allows them to make necessary adjustments to their study habits and academic approaches.
In higher education, class size matters. Small class sizes provide numerous benefits for both students and institutions. They foster enhanced student engagement, personalized attention, stronger relationships with professors, improved learning outcomes, collaborative learning opportunities, personalized feedback, and a more positive classroom atmosphere. All these advantages contribute to a more enriching and successful educational experience.
AUS prioritises small class sizes to ensure students receive a high level of individualised attention and development opportunities, to fully support their academic and personal growth, ultimately setting them up for success in their future careers.