I'm currently taking a 20-25 person graduate-level course in Computer Science. It's about 60/40 theory/implementation, which means the discussions in class tend to be a bit more abstract that the typical undergraduate course.
I've recently talked with a few of the other students in the class, and we've all noted that it's become particularly difficult to ask questions in class for three reasons:
- The professor moves very quickly and jumps back and forth between slides. (We're less concerned about this - it's a pain to follow, but that's grad school, and we're all willing to learn outside of class if necessary.)
- There's a core group of about 5 students who sit at the front of the classroom and are constantly asking questions. Normally, none of us would mind this - however, they tend to interrupt the professor and talk loudly over other students (especially international ones).
- When someone other than these 5 students does ask a question, those same 5 students usually interrupt the professor and try to answer it themselves - frequently in a way that we feel is more confusing than if the professor himself was to try and answer it.
We have nothing against this professor or these students - they're interested in the field, which we understand - but with midterms approaching we're concerned that our understanding of the material is less than we would like.
I'd like to email the professor and bring up these concerns - I had planned on doing so anyway, but then the other students asked me to do so too because (1) I'm not international and (2) I'm (for lack of a better word) loud when needed.
What I'm not sure is how I should email him. Should it be an anonymous email from one of my dummy accounts? Should it be a group email in which I cc the other students? Should I mention names or not? I'd appreciate some guidance on how to do this such that it will be best received.