This fall marks the first time MSMS has used the quarter system, also known as a four-by-four block. The principle difference between our quarters and a typical high school’s involves the Academic Support Day, which, ideally, allows students the opportunity to confer with teachers, or to take deep dives into specific topics that interest them. Students are in class approximately seven hours per course each week, which means that they are either in Zoom rooms or working on Canvas about 21 hours each week.
This system differs significantly from the college semester model used at the school for the previous three decades. Last year, students usually took 18-21 hours of classes per week, which equates to six or seven classes a semester. No Academic Support Day existed, but faculty returned to campus one night a week for tutorials.
I’m curious: which model, quarter or semester, seems to be a better fit for classes during the pandemic? Do you think the model should change once we return to face-to-face instruction? Seniors, I’ll be especially attentive to your responses.