Let's go.........RANDOM!

The place to hang out and talk about totally anything general.
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby OldAI » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:48 pm

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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby shinygerbil » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:10 pm

I tried to main Hakan for the longest time.
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby Deepsmeg » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:03 pm

I saw I had a website linked.
Clicked it.
It was the beno thread.
From March 2004?! Really?!
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby jelco » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:39 pm

Yes, you're getting old.

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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby xander » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:20 am

I hate online homework systems. Obvious typos should not be graded WRONG! On the bright side, it is easy enough to edit scores.

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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby Skaruts » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:05 am

I like pasta!
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby Cooper42 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:41 pm

xander wrote:If you want people to teach you, there are community colleges in the US for that (I don't know what the European equivalent might be). University students are expected to learn primarily on their own, with some guidance from faculty.

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It can vary from Uni to Uni, but in the UK, by and large, Universities expect a large amount of self-learning. We have no equivalent of community colleges for post-18 education.

In my experience, Universities do a poor job of preparing students for this. Right through to the final year many still want to be "taught stuff"; they want to know what they need to know and be told what they need to know so they can parrot it back. The idea that the teaching is there to help them develop the abilities to criticvally appraise this "stuff" they should be learning for themselves never sinks in for many of them.

Independent thought, I've come to realise, is surprisingly thin on the ground.
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby MAdMaN » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:54 pm

Cooper42 wrote:Independent thought, I've come to realise, is surprisingly thin on the ground.

As is common sense and personal responsibility.
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby Xocrates » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:51 pm

Cooper42 wrote:In my experience, Universities do a poor job of preparing students for this. Right through to the final year many still want to be "taught stuff"; they want to know what they need to know and be told what they need to know so they can parrot it back.

Personally, I can think of two likely causes (at least as it applies to my experience here):

The first is that despite focus on individual work, you're still not fully allowed to focus on your interests, meaning that many of the courses you have to go through are irrelevant to your interests and of little to no use outside of college. I believe I've said it here before that 90% of what you're "taught" is useless to 90% of the students.

The second one is that the approach of "parrot back" what one is "taught" is quite often the only way to pass the course, which is only one of many reasons on why written tests are more often than not a complete sham.
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby Cooper42 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:26 pm

Xocrates wrote:
Cooper42 wrote:In my experience, Universities do a poor job of preparing students for this. Right through to the final year many still want to be "taught stuff"; they want to know what they need to know and be told what they need to know so they can parrot it back.

Personally, I can think of two likely causes (at least as it applies to my experience here):

The first is that despite focus on individual work, you're still not fully allowed to focus on your interests, meaning that many of the courses you have to go through are irrelevant to your interests and of little to no use outside of college. I believe I've said it here before that 90% of what you're "taught" is useless to 90% of the students.

The second one is that the approach of "parrot back" what one is "taught" is quite often the only way to pass the course, which is only one of many reasons on why written tests are more often than not a complete sham.
Both of those reasons are just the result of poor teaching and assessment.

It's a rare course that allows space for students to go where they want to go with a subject and actually rewards proper critical engagement by reserving the highest marks for any indication of this. (Though I guess, in general, that the social sciences & humanities offer much greater freedom to express critical thought than fields where answers can be really quite clearly right or wrong).

Which given that, in the UK, there is little to no actual teacher training for those of us teaching undergraduates, is not surprising.

Somehow we're expected to have spent 3-4 years doing little else but researching & writing the PhD and that makes us qualified to teach young adults about complex things...

At least in the US system teaching is often an integral part of a postgraduate workload. Same cannot be said for the UK.
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby xander » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:29 pm

Cooper42 wrote:It can vary from Uni to Uni, but in the UK, by and large, Universities expect a large amount of self-learning. We have no equivalent of community colleges for post-18 education.

In my experience, Universities do a poor job of preparing students for this. Right through to the final year many still want to be "taught stuff"; they want to know what they need to know and be told what they need to know so they can parrot it back. The idea that the teaching is there to help them develop the abilities to criticvally appraise this "stuff" they should be learning for themselves never sinks in for many of them.

Independent thought, I've come to realise, is surprisingly thin on the ground.


I agree entirely with the above quoted material. In the US, I would blame the high schools. In general, high school teachers evaluated (at least in part) by how well their students do on standardized tests. Hence there is a perverse incentive---teachers are rewarded for spoonfeeding students and discouraging independent thought. High school teachers are not rewarded for teaching students to think critically, so they tend to neglect that part of their duty. This is, by the way, why I stopped teaching high school. What this means is that students arrive at university unprepared for the rigors of academia. They expect that they will be spoonfed knowledge by teachers.

I have seen a couple of programs that are trying to fix this. My sister went to a high school in a small town in Arizona where the principal of the high school has had the bright idea of scaling back the spoonfeeding slowly. Freshman enter the high school as (essentially) children who are held up (academically) by their teachers. Slowly, they are given less and less support (more reading to do outside of class, less time in class to get work done, more rigorous assignments, and so on). The scheme is new, but it is a good idea, and may ultimately be helpful.

The other program that seems to be helping is here at UNR: certain groups of freshman are given intensive advisement, required to attend tutoring, and given a great deal of additional support and/or spoonfeeding. The help gets pulled back through the freshman year, so that by the time they are sophomores, they can (hopefully) think for themselves. The students in this program seem to be doing very well. The only issue is that the only students who are eligible come from Title I high schools (basically, schools where most of the students are low income). I would love to see this program expanded greatly.

Xocrates wrote:The first is that despite focus on individual work, you're still not fully allowed to focus on your interests, meaning that many of the courses you have to go through are irrelevant to your interests and of little to no use outside of college. I believe I've said it here before that 90% of what you're "taught" is useless to 90% of the students.

I would argue that this is a good thing, at least at the undergraduate level. It is part of a liberal education, and part of building up well-rounded, critically thinking individuals. It is good to be required to learn things and engage with ideas that are beyond a narrow focus. This is, in essence, the foundation of the Western tradition of academia.

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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby Xocrates » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:32 pm

Cooper42 wrote:It's a rare course that allows space for students to go where they want to go with a subject and actually rewards proper critical engagement by reserving the highest marks for any indication of this.

Actually, my comment is more along the lines that there are plenty or required courses that are irrelevant to most people.

I don't know about the UK or US, but I'm not allowed to pick any of the courses I'm taking during the bachelors degree, only on the masters.
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby NeatNit » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:40 pm

I can't get anywhere in life because I couldn't bring myself to study bible, literature, history, or civics. Nevermind that I was brilliant at math and the best programmer in my high school's robotics team ever. Fuck the system.

(I do intend to fix that, but I've got two years of military service before I can even begin to think about it. Also, I'm finally getting tested for ADD and the like, something that I should have done a long time ago.)
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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby xander » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:08 pm

Xocrates wrote:I don't know about the UK or US, but I'm not allowed to pick any of the courses I'm taking during the bachelors degree, only on the masters.

That is insane. In most US institutions, a bachelor's degree requires about 120 credit hours (or equivalent---I reference the number just to give some idea about how things compare to each other). Classes generally break down into "Required General Education Classes," "Elective General Education Classes," and "Major Classes." Addressing these in reverse order:
  • Most majors require approximately 40-50 credit hours, at least half of which must be at the 300 or 400 level (upper division classes---i.e. courses taken during the last year or two of school). In mathematics at UNR, for instance, this generally includes three semesters of calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, two semesters of introductory real analysis, proofs and logic, mathematical modeling, and five or six upper division electives which can be used to specialize a little (electives might include courses in topics such as topology, abstract algebra, partial differential equations, graph theory, statistics, and so on).
  • Most programs at most universities have general requirements that may be fulfilled by one of many courses. At UNR, this generally includes (but can vary a bit from program to program) two or three natural science classes (chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, geology, and so on), a social science class (sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics), a fine arts class (music theory, drawing, sculpture, theater), a "diversity" class (these are really varied, and include certain classes in [insert name of country or minority group here] studies (e.g. women's studies, German studies), anthropology, sociology, history, and so on), and a "capstone" class outside of your own department (a class taken during your last year which is meant to go into depth in a field that is not your own). These generally account for another 50-60 credit hours.
  • Finally, most universities have a core curriculum of required classes. These generally add up to less than 30 credit hours, and include a one or two semester sequence in English (i.e. how to write research paper), some basic mathematics (either precalculus or college algebra), a foreign language (some programs substitute two semesters of introductory computer science for the language requirement), and a common humanities requirement (generally 6-9 semesters of world, European, and US history, literature, and arts). Many of these classes can be tested out of and need not be taken at the university.
There are very few courses that are strictly prescribed, and students have a lot of options across both the general education requirements and the requirements of their majors.

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Re: Let's go.........RANDOM!

Postby jois13 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:03 pm

I LIKE PIES......BEAT THAT GUYS
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:D i like blue...its nice....ohhhh IM USING IT NOW :0

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