I'm in a graduate specialization program. It's expedited and it's a year long. There is an equivalent two-year Master's program for which I didn't apply. The classes are held twice a week in the evening. They are four to five hours long. There are Powerpoint presentations which the lecturers email the students a few days after the lectures.
(I was surprised the lecturers didn't provide us with their contact information (email) and so I had to contact the secretary of the program and ask her to email me their info).
You'd think that some students would save some of their questions either for after the lecture or for a private communication via email. There are a few students - usually the same ones - who constantly interrupt the lecturers to ask a question or to share an experience from their workplace. Most of the students work or have some sort of experience in the field of study.
I understand this is normal and expected to some extent. However, these questions lead to more questions, comments, chatting, arguing, even talking about politics with the lecturers, to the point that the lecturers can't finish on time. So far, none of the lecturers have complained about this. It seems that they want to accommodate us by finishing earlier and taking shorter breaks.
One of the lecturers had this to say:
if you guys had not been working in [field of study] and were just undergrads, you wouldn't have all these questions...blah blah....I'm just going to answer this last question and no more for tonight though, so we can move on with the lecture...blah blah...
Yeah, right. It turns out that the guy who asked that last question happened to ask another question later on, and the lecturer kept answering questions the entire time.
Long story short, the classroom feels more like a chat room, or a cafe and the lectures feel like listening to a bunch of people talking about their negative experiences, bitterness and problems they are facing in the field, even politics (unfortunately it's relevant).
(I'm not saying this has not been valuable to a degree. I have found out interesting things.)
However, my goal is to either email the director of the program or meet with him and talk to him about my concerns without telling him or the lecturers how to do their job even though it may seem that way.
I'd like to be able to suggest (if it's a good idea) that the lecturers:
- either accepted questions towards the end,
- or ask those same students, who ask multiple questions to save the rest of their questions for either after the lecture or for an email.
Perhaps it's me and perhaps this is how graduate level classes are but most of the time I leave the classroom having a headache because of the constant asking-answering (I also find it hard to concentrate).
How can I convey my concerns to the director of the program, without sounding like a know-it-all? Is it even my place to make suggestions? I also want to be polite.
- I don't want to approach the students or openly complain about it during the lecture.
- The director of the program, who has given one of the lectures, had a very casual style himself and spent most of the time answering questions and/or giving us professional insight about really controversial topics which may or may not have been relevant to the specific field of study. (He's supposed to give more scientifically relevant lectures later on).