I am always curious about the equivalence of teaching load between people in the quarter system vs semester system. for example, a 2,2,2 load for quarter system is equivalent to a 2,2 load for semester system? Or it is more like a 3,3 load for semester system?
Date: 07 Aug 2014 11:40
Number of posts: 5
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Good question, and I will be interested in the answers (I have none since I have always worked a 3-3).
Not to misdirect this inquiry, but can I add a related question. How about the difference between a 3-3 load but when the classes are 4-cr each vs. 3-cr? I have heard from two people who worked at both, and one said the 4-cr felt like a normal 3-3, the other said it felt 4-4ish.
Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
One reason that different folks say different things about different loads is that there are other things to consider.
1.) Number of preps. You could be teaching 8 different preps at a 4-4, or just 1 (say 4 sections of Intro). The 4-4 with 8 preps is going to feel worse than the 4-4 with 2-3 preps.
2.) Number of students. If all your classes are 30 students, having a 4-4 means that you have 120 students per semester, as opposed to 90, which will feel a lot less overwhelming, especially if you are at a place with no TA or secretarial support (which is most likely at a 4-4, or 3-3 place).
3.) General difficulty in teaching the class. This can vary by the person, or the students at a school, if it's a new prep, or if it's a class that has a lot of projects where students need outside help. If you're at a 4-4 with a lot of preps, it is likely you'll be teaching new classes outside your area, which makes things harder.
4.) Other factors. Some places give you more 'credit' if you teach a larger class, or a longer class (one with a lab), while others do not.
I've taught at both a 3-3 and a 4-4 institution, and the 3-3 was WAY easier. But, the 3-3 had 3 preps all year, where the 4-4 had 7, and no extra credits for large classes or lab hours. With a 4-4 you're more likely to have random breaks in the day, and teach every day.
"Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?"
I would have to go with the horse-sized duck. Assuming the duck-sized horses are aggressively attacking I feel like they might quickly overwhelm me.