Photo by: Maria DeVito. This photo represents a small class at Eastern Illinois University.

Eastern Illinois’s 2015-2016 school year publication facts states that the faculty to student ratio was 15:1. This means that the average class size was 17 students. This statistic may vary based on whether a student is taking a general education class or a course that is more specific to their major.

According to the IDEA Center, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve learning, teaching, and leadership performance, class size has a major effect on student’s ability to learn and gain communication skills.

“I’m not surprised by this statistic,” said Eastern sophomore Martee Grainger, “but I do believe that this statistic is not true for general education classes that most freshman and sophomores are enrolled in.”

The objectives instructors choose to focus on must vary by class size. It is more difficult to focus on creating more personal relationships when class sizes are larger.

As it turns out, instructors in very large classes are more likely to emphasize learning factual knowledge and less likely to stress developing communication skills than are those in small and medium classes. This is especially true in general education courses.

“I was somewhat aware of the smaller class sizes before deciding to attend Eastern. I felt my education would benefit by creating more personal relationships with my professors and better communication skills that a smaller class size can provide,” Grainger said.