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# A large Southern state university has changed its teaching practices.

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
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A large Southern state university has changed its teaching practices.  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2019, 01:34
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5% (low)

Question Stats:

91% (01:30) correct 9% (01:54) wrong based on 164 sessions

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A large Southern state university has changed its teaching practices. Formerly, instructors without PhDs taught most introductory courses; now professors with PhDs will teach all introductory classes. That means the average class size will increase from 44 students per class to 600 per class, but overall the students’ learning experience should improve.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) Requiring professors with PhDs to teach all introductory classes will mean that the university must hire more faculty with doctorates.

(B) Students tend to participate in smaller classes more than they do in large lectures, even when the lectures are supplemented by weekly discussion sections.

(C) Major private universities already have implemented a format in which professors with PhDs teach all introductory classes as large lectures.

(D) A class taught by a PhD, even in a lecture format with hundreds of students, is a better learning environment than a smaller class taught by an instructor without a PhD.

(E) Services that rank colleges and universities usually consider the percentage of classes taught by PhDs when computing rank.

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Joined: 02 Sep 2009
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Re: A large Southern state university has changed its teaching practices.  [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2019, 02:39
Bunuel wrote:
A large Southern state university has changed its teaching practices. Formerly, instructors without PhDs taught most introductory courses; now professors with PhDs will teach all introductory classes. That means the average class size will increase from 44 students per class to 600 per class, but overall the students’ learning experience should improve.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

(A) Requiring professors with PhDs to teach all introductory classes will mean that the university must hire more faculty with doctorates.

(B) Students tend to participate in smaller classes more than they do in large lectures, even when the lectures are supplemented by weekly discussion sections.

(C) Major private universities already have implemented a format in which professors with PhDs teach all introductory classes as large lectures.

(D) A class taught by a PhD, even in a lecture format with hundreds of students, is a better learning environment than a smaller class taught by an instructor without a PhD.

(E) Services that rank colleges and universities usually consider the percentage of classes taught by PhDs when computing rank.

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:

D. The author concludes that having classes taught by PhDs instead of instructors improves students’ learning experience, so he must assume that PhDs, even in very large classes, are somehow better at teaching than instructors in smaller ones. Choice (A) isn’t his assumption. In fact, the reference to increased class sizes suggests that the university won’t be hiring more faculty. Choice (B) contradicts the author’s conclusion by suggesting that student participation is a good thing. Choice (C) is interesting information but isn’t essential to the conclusion about the practices of the particular Southern state university in the argument, especially because it doesn’t mention students’ learning experiences. Choice (D) looks like the right answer. The author does seem to think that a class taught by a PhD is somehow superior, which explains why he thinks the change would benefit students. Choice (E) explains why the university may want to increase classes taught by PhDs, but it doesn’t explain how that would benefit students. Choice (D) is correct.
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Re: A large Southern state university has changed its teaching practices.   [#permalink] 26 Feb 2019, 02:39
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