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Old 02-02-2017, 02:55 PM   #1
Potemkin
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Default Community Colleges are OUT OF HAND

So I had some time today so I went to the local Community College.

This is a very robust community college (unlike the older junior college ones) with some nice stringent course. Of course they have a wide range of programs including adult education programs/courses.

I like to walk the stacks in the bookstore. Sometimes in the past I have picked up math or science textbooks to work through.

OMG the costs! The old standby "College Algebra" by Michael Sullivan is US$238 new. Used it is US$180.

Linear Algebra by Lay is US$214 new/US$161 used

Calculus for Business is US$244

Cole's American Criminal Justice was US$144 and it was loose lead in some kind of shrink wrap. WTF?

This is a Community College not a University.

Looks like they are "putting on airs" pretending to be a University.

I did walk though the lunchroom/cafeteria which is really the "College Deli". High end.

But what got me were a few students sitting at tables separately, notebooks open with earphones in, connected to WiFi, watching classes in another building being livestreamed.

Whoa!
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:05 PM   #2
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It concerns me when something as basic as physically attending a class is seen by some to be too, too difficult. Lousy weather? Illness? By all means, being able to follow a live streamed lecture is fantastic & access to taped lectures rocks when you've had to miss one, rocks.

I would think that sets up, for some, lowered expectations for the work force. If you didn't have to attend lectures, why is being on time for work important? Or even showing up for all your scheduled time?

I remember my college texts being just as expensive, taking inflation into account; but most were very specific in subject & with limited general appeal. Clearly that doesn't apply to a lot of books, which are used throughout a variety of faculties. Everybody is connected these days - the old excuse that physical publishing is an expensive business can be circumvented, surely, through online subject matter transfer that can't freely be transferred from student to student.
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:21 PM   #3
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I had trouble my first year of medical school. Second year, I got straight "superiors", i.e., straight A's. The difference? I stopped going to class.

Simply, almost all of us can read faster than a professor can talk. I could cover 4-5 hours of lecture in an hour and a half, could go over difficult concepts multiple times, didn't have to worry about taking notes (we paid a class note-taker to do that), didn't have to worry about what I'd missed if I temporarily daydreamed or otherwise lost concentration (which one does a lot after several hours of class), could take breaks when I needed, etc. Instead of four to eight hours of class, followed by studying, I just did the studying—usually five hours a day was plenty—and went to school just for labs and other hands-on stuff.

Going to class is a waste of time.
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:55 PM   #4
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If it's a class where she knows she'll never, ever open the book after the semester ends, my dd rents the book through amazon. Rentals are available both digitally or hard copy for a fraction of the cost of purchasing the book new. As for live streaming, my dd also takes online courses where it's not live-streamed, but each lecture is recorded and then put up online for a limited amount of time. With budget cuts in California, it's a way to get around the physical limitations of the teaching space limiting your class size. This being said, dd is fortunate to attend a private university where class size averages around 12-18 students. The online coursework she takes is through a nearby Junior College and she mostly takes yawn inducing general ed classes.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:41 AM   #5
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1991 and 1992 I spent $1,000 per semester on books. Many courses required 5 or 6 books. Nothing more infuriating than a prof that requires you to buy a $75 book, only to use just ONE FREAKING CHAPTER!

I still have one or two, having purged the rest a few years ago.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharma View Post
I had trouble my first year of medical school. Second year, I got straight "superiors", i.e., straight A's. The difference? I stopped going to class.

Simply, almost all of us can read faster than a professor can talk. I could cover 4-5 hours of lecture in an hour and a half, could go over difficult concepts multiple times, didn't have to worry about taking notes (we paid a class note-taker to do that), didn't have to worry about what I'd missed if I temporarily daydreamed or otherwise lost concentration (which one does a lot after several hours of class), could take breaks when I needed, etc. Instead of four to eight hours of class, followed by studying, I just did the studying—usually five hours a day was plenty—and went to school just for labs and other hands-on stuff.

Going to class is a waste of time.
Good for you that you figured out your learning style. But not everyone's learning style is the same.

Some are visual learners, others learn by listening, some learn by doing, etc... .
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:37 AM   #7
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dharma's post, (hate to admit it), had me squirming with embarrassment. Because... several of my elective courses I handled the same way - I might show up once every other week & yes, my marks improved substantially.

That's what happens when I open my yap & let the old lady in my start yammering rather than THINK.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:27 PM   #8
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I think some courses you can do just as well at home on your own. I had two courses my first semester that were only offered as distance courses (it was summer). Earth Sciences and Public Administration. I did just fine on my own. As a History major, however, my best grades were ALWAYS in History courses with a prof that loved their courses. Their lectures greatly expanded upon texts, often offering their own research, and flew by in the blink of an eye. Then there was the Soc/Anthro prof that used Star Trek TNG and MASH clips to make his points. Only way to fill a lecture hall at 8 am on a Friday.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fartacus View Post
... not everyone's learning style is the same.

Some are visual learners, others learn by listening, some learn by doing, etc... .
Yah, I know that is education orthodoxy, but I'm not sure many educators have a clue regarding the incredible volume of information uptake required by medical school, and, in any case, there is no "learn by doing" option for biochemistry. Someone talking and writing on a blackboard is, in my experience, an inefficient way to transfer knowledge. YMMV.

There are different, and maybe better, ways to teach medical school than the take-a-drink-from-a-fire-hose avalanche of information method I experienced. The patient-centered curriculum is one example, and focuses on an experiential approach. I haven't kept up with progress there.
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:06 PM   #10
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My nephew is in second year med school - did the sneaky 'transfer in from Dentistry option' this fall. Identical first years - cram a ton of anatomy, physiology, biochem, etc. down students' throats.

He told me the second year abruptly changes to patient centered care with students expected to complete thorough case studies based on specified learning outcomes. It's mainly a constant repetition of what a doctor should look for, norms & abnormal values. He'll get a patient & their file & is expected to follow the case as it develops, (if it develops into anything), as well as "what if" other prognoses for a diagnosis. For example, a highly febrile infant with suspected flu - he has to know how to treat a normal course of flu as well as be up on what complications might result, how to test for those, treat them & potential outcomes... you know the drill.

He had trouble with the avalanche of information he had to digest & be able to barf out on command in first year. It's the clinicals he's found slow - his first few rotations were peds - well baby clinics & prenatal visits. He comes from a background of being an advanced paramedic & he's the "black cloud" type of First Responder - something too interesting ALWAYS happens when he's on shift. In fact his first year on campus, he responded, (witnessed), two severe medical situations, did the CPR & stabilized until paramedics showed up.

I think he's due for hospital rotations soon - I'll have to ask him how the knowledge acquisition part differs there. My practice is a teaching practice so I see a lot of residents & students. The early year students are kept pretty reined in but the senior students who have already identified areas of practice for when they're qualified, are encouraged to seek out & work more closely with patients fitting their eventual practice parameters.

I can see that working out really well for switched on students who have supervisors with excellent guidance skills.
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