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Class time -is it a motivator?

Are students more easily motivated by having early classes - say 6 AM to 2 Pm or by having classes begin at 8am? What is the "best learning time" as a means of promtoting motivation and retention. Differentiating between the physical aspect and the psychological aspects of the learning climate- what are some of the stressors assocaited with early classes or late classes?

Hi Vicky,
Great question but a hard one to answer. I think it all depends on the motivation for being in the class in the first place. I taught a class that started at 12:30am and run until 6:30am. The reason was the shift from which the students came ended at midnight. Their motivation was increased salary, promotion and job security. I can't say it was easy but it certainly was interesting in terms of keeping the students engaged in the learning process.
The best time for learning is determined also by student cycles. Some students are morning people and others evening people. Probably the ideal time is 10 until 2 but not many of us get to teach then. All my classes start at 4 and run until 10pm. Students are coming from their day jobs and are tired. I have to work very hard to keep them active and involved. The good news is that by doing this I keep my energy level up and that rubs off on the students. There are times though when nothing seems to work and the students are just wore out. That is when I have game night and we challenge each other in the areas of problem solving, word knowledge, etc.

Thank you for your insight. In looking at the overall impact on retention, I seem to have identified that the school hours interfer with "salary making times for many of the students and they are under great stress by trying to work and go to a short full program. Even with the lighter syllabus time for it all isn't available and retention is very low. Fortunately, I have the option of adding days and having shorter class time per day or doing different time classes.

From my own experience time is a delicate factor. Our classes run from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Our students come from work directly or after being working all day long. One of the strategies I have is to divide the class topics in two sections of one hour and fifty minutes. During the first half of the class I will teach and practice the hardest topics assigned for the day. During the second half I will go for the easiest topics and reviews of everything discussed. In this way I will use their "mind freshness" to enhance the learning process. Time could be a motivation if it is used wisely.

Hi Lorna,
Good idea. This is how I run my classes as well. I start at 4:00 and run to 10:00. From 4 until 7 they are tired and hungry. After the dinner break they are tired and full. Either time tired is a constant so I have to do everything I can to keep them awake and moving around. I realy enjoy the challenge of it all. I have never taught in the daytime so I'm not sure what I would do with students that are fresh and not tired. It takes all kinds of activities and strategies to keep them engaged and learning. You are doing a great job with the method you are useing, keep up the good work.

I have had morning classes, afternoon classes, and night classes. The morning classes or the night classes seem to be easier for the students to manage because of work. It is easier for a student to work the full eight-hour day or night and still attend classes. Most students need to work so it a powerful motivator.

Hi Joyce,
I teach late afternoons and nights. (4-10pm). Even though my students are tired from a day's work they are ready to get into the class activities because they see the reason for their attending class. They see a future for themselves. Some days they are wore down but the majority of time they are good to go. I really enjoy teaching these students as I can see that you do as well.
What are some the challenges you have encountered with your students as they come into your evening classes?

for me I think the class open from 7AM to 3:PM

Class time is it a motivator? I strongly agree. The reason why is that am classes or pm classes probably work better for most students. This way they can manage their work schedule around the class time, more flexibilty. Most students need to work just to maintain their responsibilities.

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