First day of Winterim 2013 classes “much better”
Count Patrick McGuire among the people who like UW-Parkside's new four- week winter interim, or "Winterim," session. The expanded term started Monday, Jan. 7, and continues to Feb. 1, significantly paring class lengths and making it easier for students to maintain their focus.
"This is much better," said McGuire, a senior English lecturer. "The length of class meetings is better. Now it's 2 hours and 40 minutes which is the equivalent of a week in the regular semester. That give you enough time to get into some things deeply but it's not too long that people become restless and bored."
Cassie Kimberlain, a student in McGuire's "Introduction to Literature" class, took a two-week Winterim course in 2012 and while she enjoyed the class, "...it was just long. We were in class for, like, five hours," Kimberlain stated.
Count UW-Parkside students among the people who like the new Winterim format. More than 640 students are taking Winterim courses in 2013, double the 268 students who participated in Winterim 2012.
The new format also features an expanded number of courses offered (50 in 2013 compared to little more than a dozen in 2012), has more online classes, and, in general, helps students complete their degrees faster.
Students say they found other advantages to the new Winterim format. Amel Alchaar said taking a single class allows her to better focus on the subject. Sean Christofferson said the shorter classes work better for his schedule. "I work full time so I couldn't fit four or five six-hour classes into my schedule."
Still another benefit is what McGuire calls "the slow accumulation of the details you need for the class.""The 2-week Winterim required a different kind of teaching and a different kind of response from the students," McGuire explained. "And while I think those classes were still legitimate, I think the four week session allows teachers to offer a wider variety of classes."