In the already bustling month of March, a handful of classes are offered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that promise to get students the credits they need in a shorter, more intensive time period.
These half-term classes, or mini-sessions, only last a little under a month, but are conducted up to six hours per week, allowing students to earn three credit hours in a short amount of time.
These condensed classes can be overwhelming for students, especially on top of a regular schedule. Some students may take mini-sessions or pop-up classes because they seem interesting. Others may have the mentality that if they suffer through a more dense version of coursework for half of the semester they will be able to relax for the other half.
However, rather than helping students get more out of their schedule, these shortened classes can easily overwork students. It isn’t practical for students to try and stretch themselves for the sake of a condensed class that will distract them from other coursework.
Because they take place over such a short amount of time, the knowledge mini-session courses teach can hardly be retained in the long run. They begin and end in only a few weeks, and with a full class load on top of that, many students may find themselves struggling to remember those abbreviated classes.
The intensity of the courses on their own can be difficult to keep up with. Mini-sessions usually entail an entire semester of material packed into just a few weeks, but they still come with the same amount of work.
This means that these classes are extremely work-intensive and can make students suddenly feel like they are drowning in assignments, making them a less fruitful option than traditional, semester-long courses.
Because these classes don’t last entire semesters, at face value they seem like they would be easy to complete and a simple way to earn credit. However, because they are far more dense in workload, they can easily fill up a student’s already brimming study schedule.
One positive thing about these shortened classes is that they are thought to be a quick way to get more credits. However, the very real risk of failing the mini-class or being overwhelmed by the added course load and getting a lower grade in a traditional class is too great for these classes to be worth it.
Mini-sessions offered for half-semesters are too intensive to be practical for an already full schedule. They are not worth the risk of being suffocated by hours of class and homework. Students should stick to classes intended for entire semesters, rather than drastically increasing their workload for the sake of a few extra credit hours.