Key to Class Schedule

Comments about Class Types

LEC – Lecture

Primarily one-way communication
of prepared content from
instructor to students.

Perhaps the most common class
type in LSA, which may be combined
with a discussion section and/or lab.

DIS – Discussion

Two-way communication between instructor and students typically related to the lecture and/or assignments.

Discussion sections must be attached to a Lecture. GSI-led sections associated with faculty-led sections should be set up as LEC + DIS. Sections offered as a freestanding class will not appear in the time schedule.

IND – Independent Study

Independent study with individual consultation and guidance from instructor.

Independent Studies are freestanding and not linked with any other class type.

LAB – Laboratory
Instructor supervises investigations
by students individually or as a group.

Labs are most often associated with Lectures, but also may be freestanding. Sometimes required film viewing may be scheduled as a lab without credit. Classes conducted in a laboratory setting must meet two hours for each credit earned.

PSI - Personalized System
of Instruction

No formal lectures, mastery-oriented, student-proctored, self-paced system with printed study guides. Also known as the Keller Plan.

The Keller Plan is used only in Physics and Biochemistry. Otherwise it’s seldom used anymore.

REC – Recitation *

Instructor prepares content and
leads students in a joint examination. Not supplemental to lectures.

Freestanding, i.e. not linked with any other class component. Most commonly used in subjects such as math and languages.

SEM – Seminar *

Students prepare materials and lead discussion under the instructor's guidance.

Freestanding, i.e. not linked with any other class component. Typical differences from Lecture type: smaller class enrollment (12-25); lively discussions; and less time devoted to instructor’s presentation of material.

* Distinctions between a Recitation and a Seminar are somewhat fine. In part it has to do with class size. Seminars typically have 12-15 students, while Recitations typically have up to about 40 students. Obviously, active student leadership of discussions becomes more difficult in a class larger than 20 or 25.

   The primary difference is in style of instruction. In Seminars students should be active participants in discussions, sometimes incorporating individual or group presentations. In Recitations the instructor plays the principal role and students respond. This style is commonly used in language instruction and math.


College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1382 © 2016 Regents of the University of Michigan