New Block Scheduling

Good Afternoon Brandeis!

When I opened my e-mail, on the top of the list was Marty W. Krauss’s e-mail about the new block scheduling program.

From the report here is a quick list of the changes (full outline at bottom).
– Less MWT classes
– More TF, MW classes
– Classes start on the hour! No more waking up late!
– No more classes after 2pm on Fridays.
– Using this block system will make it easier to schedule longer classes and labs.

I am personally in favor of the new changes. Next semester I have classes until 4pm on Fridays… such a drag! Under the new system, exceptions will have to be made for teachers to schedule a class — giving us more time to party study.

I am already a fan of less MWT classes, but moving the classes to start at 00 or 30 is a little sad… No more waking up at 10:00 and getting to class by 10:10 for me! However, it will be motivation to get out of bed and probably help with “Brandeis time”.

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Think the administration is crazy? Comment and let me know!

Here is a complete list of changes:

1. We recommend changing the block system to the following:

a. Three-day-a-week courses (50 minutes per session) will meet on MWF, with blocks running from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be slightly fewer three-day-a-week blocks than are currently constituted. In general, the only classes scheduled on Fridays until 2:00 p.m. will be the three-day-a-week courses.

b. Two-day-a-week courses (80 minutes per session) will meet on TTh and MW throughout the day and into the evening. There will be many more two-day-a-week blocks than are currently scheduled.

c. The block system will work on a model of “interchangeable Lego blocks” in which different class lengths may be made by combining blocks (with little overlap or inconsistencies in the blocks). For example, two 80 minute blocks can be combined to make a 3-hour class. It will be possible on this schedule to accommodate some special situations for labs, IBS courses, and studio courses. The block system fits in quite well with the train schedule, which has been especially problematic for some students in the evenings.

d. We will use a full schedule of classes on Thursday afternoons and evenings, thus unpacking our schedule and better utilizing our limited number of classrooms. We recommend that the Faculty Meeting be switched to Friday afternoons, beginning at 2:00 p.m. We will stop scheduling classes after 2:00 p.m. on Friday afternoons (although in special cases classes could use Friday afternoons, e.g., from Heller and IBS). Most students and many faculty members wanted to eliminate Friday afternoon classes, often for religious observance, not only for Jewish students and faculty but also for Muslim students and faculty.

2. We recommend changing the starting time for all classes to “on the hour or half hour” and ending 10 minutes before the hour (e.g., 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.). This schedule is in line with the vast majority of schools we compare ourselves to and also in line with the regular hours utilized in the rest of our larger community. This schedule will bring us in line with all administrative meetings on campus and do away with the problematic “Brandeis time.” It will be easier to coordinate work study, jobs, meetings, and other appointments on campus.

3. We recommend that several practices for scheduling courses be considered and utilized by departments, including a few cases in which we will recommend transferring the scheduling of classes to the Registrar (e.g., coordination of the main science courses and some of the largest lecture courses at Brandeis). The Science faculty generally would welcome some of these changes, and the new system will make possible their ability to avoid overlaps and even allow them to spread out the scheduled labs.


2 thoughts on “New Block Scheduling”

  1. glad they’re getting rid of the dumbest thing on the schedule, classes ending rather than starting on the half hour. not that I’ll be here when they implement…

  2. the convergence to 80min vs 50min classes is a good thing. less walking around, more consolidation of time on campus.

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