Small class size challenges
Who out there has the challenge of teaching to ultra-small class sizes (e.g. 2-4 students)? What kinds of challenges do you face and how have you learned to cope with these unique situations?
I have taught classes with very few students, and have found the having prepared problems set up for them on the "good old" board to be one of their favorites. A teacher can see 3 or 4 students at a time doing similar problems (but Not the same ones) and talk them through corrections right then and there.
I have had classes with 2 students. In these classes I ask the students to complete work on case studies or complete a small project ( like watching a video and answering questions). I then have each of the students present their answers to me and the other student. I try to get the students more actively involved in the actaul teaching of subject matter, whjile at the same time learning the objectives.
I admit, I enjoy the one to one. The discussions stay focused and the ability to fine tune the challenge is quickly appeased by both students. I do not find any hinderance in a small group. We find sharing online resources and share what is new and what has helped the student. At times, they teach me something new!
I've taught classes as small as a single student. I actually prefer small class sizes because of the personalized instruction. One of the major challenges is that there is no way to curve on exams and tests (in any real sense), so the student basically works against their own performance in that scenario.
Other than that, attendance can sometimes be an issue (it's easy for half...or all of the class to miss a session--in which case I often either repeat the lecture, or make it available via YouTube.
Video podcasting has proven a VERY effective tool for many of the obstacles associated with problem attendance and the necessity of covering too much material in too little time.
I welcome your feedback!
Small sizes I feel provide a better learning environment