By Tania Ortiz
Attending class and making room for studying is the normal routine most college students fallow. When trying to juggle all of their daily tasks it can be hard for students to find the time they need to study. Professors try to help their students by offering study sessions lead by their TAs, teacher assistants. Study sessions are offered at a more convenient hour for the students to attend. Yet for at least one history, a teaching assistant said students are still not showing up to the session even when they are struggling with the class.
Dr. Gayle Olson Raymer offers students from both of her History 110 classes to attend study sessions. She has told her classes that her method of teaching is different from how students are used to being taught. She has high expectations from both her History 110 classes. She expects her students to be able to answer one of her quiz questions with more than just a simple yes and no or a true and false answer. She expects her students to be able to back up their answers with supporting ideas both from the text and videos assigned to them and also from their own point of view.
“I want students to have a fair chance at passing and understanding history,” Olson Raymer said. “I have seen an improvement in the quiz scores from those who attend the sessions and those who haven’t.”
The study sessions are offered every Wednesday at 7-9 p.m. at Sunset. Teaching assistant James Caballero helps the students get a better understanding of the material. Caballero is a history major and a senior this year. His methods of helping the students are similar to those of Olson Raymer. He chooses to let the students work and help each other. Then if they are stuck they can come to him.
“When the first study session happened only seven students showed up but on the second day 12 students showed up,” Caballero said. “From just the past two study sessions those who have attended their scores went up from 1s and 2s to 4s and 5s.”
Both Olson Raymer’s History 110 classes are large together they are 158 students. So you would expect a large number of students to attend the study session offered by Caballero. When the first study session was offered last month only 12 students showed up to the study session. That was a small number compared to how many students there are in both classes.
After talking with students who are both enrolled in the History 110 class, it was interesting to hear their point of view on the study session. One of the students is a freshman who is in the 3 p.m. class. Her point of view on the study session was that it seems like it is helpful. But when asked if she attends the study sessions, she had said that she doesn’t have time to go because she has made plans ahead of time with her friends.
“I always meet with my friends on Wednesdays,” she said. “I prefer to look for people and study with them.”
Another student from the 1 p.m. class had another point of view for not attending the study sessions. He didn’t understand what was expected from him after doing the assignment. Even though he knew he needed help and that Caballero was offering study sessions every Wednesday. He still didn’t attend just for the simple reason that he didn’t want to be the odd man out of his group of friends.
“I do the readings, go to class and take the quizzes but I don’t understand what I’m suppose to learn,” he said. “I don’t attend the study sessions because my friends don’t. If they don’t go and I do then that automatically makes me the weird one of the group.”
Diana Upequi is another freshman who is also in the 3 p.m. class and has a different point of view on the study sessions. Upequi said that the study sessions do help to understand what to expect and to help clarify some things she doesn’t understand. But she said that the level the study sessions help her varies on what is being gone over at the study session that week.
“The helpfulness of the study session depends on what actually happens at them,” Upequi said. “There are days where it helps a lot especially when we are reading documents written in old English.”
Students not attending the sessions said they don’t want to reschedule their plans with friends or they are afraid of being the odd man out of their group.