I am sure the word “recitation class” is one of the most frequently used terms in KAIST. Recitation session is an unavoidable and a bit stressful part of KAIST life. Hence, there are controversial discussions constantly going on about recitation classes, and each year, the student council comes up with compromising policies due to these complaints.
Starting this year, recitation sessions for some major courses in the Department of Mathematical Sciences are set in school hours on Fridays. Others are still on weekdays after dinner time. The change in recitation session policy from the Department of Mathematical Sciences is welcomed by many students. As I have also experienced my first year filled with recitation sessions and taking quizzes at dinner times at least two out of five week days, I am glad to see positive changes in them.
With some recitation sessions shifting to daytime on Fridays, students can more actively participate in other extracurricular activities. For university students, the best time to make meeting plans is after dinner time. However, since freshmen have most of the recitation sessions during the night on Monday through Wednesday, it is hard to manage time for meetings during weekdays. Therefore, students who are engaged in recitation classes lose their time and chance for extracurricular activities. In addition, many important seminars, briefing sessions, and programs that are useful for students are also held during after school hours. With the shifting of recitation sessions, students who really need the dinner and night time for different activities can now effectively use it.
Another advantage of shifting recitation sessions is that students now have more time to prepare for each recitation session. Before the changes, almost all recitation sessions were crowded on Monday through Wednesday. Since freshmen during their first semester at least have three recitation sessions for three different courses - General Physics 1, Calculus 1, and General Chemistry 1 - it can be somewhat hectic to prepare for each recitation session and quiz. However, as some recitation sessions are moved to Fridays, students have more time to spare on each course. I myself prefer having recitation sessions on separated days so that I can have time to properly prepare for each session.
Though there are still debates on whether recitation sessions should be mandatory or not, I do agree that recitation session can really help students to boost their academic performances. However, I also think that the hectic atmosphere of having all recitation classes during prime times is unfair for students. Therefore, I am glad that there are some changes in the recitation session policy that consider students’ conveniences and hope to see more positive changes in the policy to solve the controversial issue of mandatory recitation sessions.
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