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Tips + Tricks

Does Class Size Matter?

March 11, 2022

February 15, 2022

Let’s set the scene…

You are a new insurance adjuster and you are in a class, either online or in person, for your required training. Your class has upwards of 50 people and you are all the way in the back. Your fellow learners are causing a lot of harmless distractions. The instructor is going over a more complex piece of training and you don’t want to ask any questions with so many people around. You leave that training with less knowledge and unanswered questions because of the distractions and the overwhelming class size.

The better option would be a smaller class size. Smaller class size means you’re getting more individualized training, less distractions, a quieter environment, more time for going over the training or going in depth as the training becomes more complex, and you and your fellow learners are more likely to ask more questions which means you learn more!

Most research you will find indicates a better learning experience for people who are in smaller classes. Let's look at some of the benefits of a smaller class size!

No questions asked — until the end

Many times for larger class sizes, instructors will ask that you refrain from asking questions until the end of the class. The problem with this is that many people will not write down their questions or forget to ask later on. They lose out on a learning opportunity and it could have benefited other people in the class.

With large class sizes, the instructor does not have time to veer off track and answer every question. Once it’s time to ask a question at the end of the training, the context of that question could be lost and you may not be able to explain it fully, so you end up not asking at all. This causes the interaction in the classroom to be low, and can decrease learning.

An important tool for learning is reflection. This helps with active learning. Classes need to have activities where the learners can reflect and answer questions about the training so they retain the information they learn. You will not have time for this in a large class and you risk missing out on a key component to learning and grasping the material.


More learning opportunities from the learners themselves

For larger classes, you are relying on the instructor to provide you with all of the information and expertise. But you can find so much value in other learners, which you might not get in the large class. Other learners can offer different perspectives, experiences, and questions that may not have been covered. Peer interaction is going to improve the learner's performance and is great for in-class learning activities. You can gain a lot of valuable information from fellow learners in a class.

A small class could mean the learners in the class are more comfortable, because it is easier to connect with one another. This is only going to increase engagement in the class, and with that extra level of comfort more perspectives and experiences will be shared and more questions will be asked. With the increase of engagement between the learners, the better the understanding of the material they will be!

The experiences and perspectives that they share can lead to a discussion that was not even included in the training and will provide a better understanding of the training course.

We talked to one adjuster who has experienced both small and large classes and they agreed that smaller class sizes are better for the learner. They asked more questions and were able to get one on one training from the instructor which led them to fully grasp the material.


Personalized learning opportunities

Your instructor can make a more personalized learning experience for you if you are in a smaller class. They can incorporate activities and training videos with reflection to increase learning. With a smaller class size, you will have plenty of time for these training sessions and time for a discussion afterwards.

Larger class sizes will not be able to have this type of personalized learning experience because if you wanted to discuss the additional training with a class size of 50 or more learners, then that alone could take up the entire training time, and it can become very generic.

The instructor can observe the class better when it is a smaller size. So if they feel as if you are struggling or not understanding, they will be able to spot it and make adjustments.


Conclusion

As you can see, we highly recommend smaller class sizes. At CNC we normally keep our class sizes small to provide better learning experiences.


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