As most students will tell you, over the years you begin to notice patterns in how some teachers decide to present their material.
Obviously some will be more lax while others are more strict just in general, but there are deeper distinctions when it comes to specific aspects of teaching that everyone approaches differently — especially at the college level.
For instance, one professor may only do the bare minimum of testing requirements to supplement one’s grades. Only a midterm exam, a final exam and a written paper (which is required for just about all undergrad classes in the CSU system at least).
Meanwhile, another teacher will inflate grades by doing something like scheduling a smaller quiz on material every week.
It all depends, and while there’s likely some answer to be drawn from somewhere on which method is more effective in hammering in material, it’s kind of just a subjective what one person prefers sort of deal.
All of that said, I wanted to write this quick blog post today before diving into this 13-page piece I have to read to talk about a decision in how to teach that I’ve discovered I really don’t enjoy.
Not involving that class with the 13-page reading assignment though. I’m probably going to keep these more annoyance-centric school blog posts anonymous.
Just in case.
This semester, one of my professors encouraged us to print out each chapter’s PowerPoint so we can follow along with it during lectures.
I’m not personally a fan of doing that sort of thing. I find that I retain more information when I’m writing everything down myself (something that I believe does have some precedent in research studies), so if I just have a print-out describing everything in the lecture it seems less effective.
So I decided to skip out on printing the PowerPoint and instead relied on good-old-fashioned note taking as usual.
Except apparently that suggestion to print out PowerPoints for each chapter was more of an expectation that we would be doing it.
Because this professor apparently zooms through his lecture so fast that I now have to go back and copy everything down off of the PowerPoint online so I can fill all the gaps I left before our quiz on Thursday.
Don’t get me wrong, especially in an upper level major course, I understand the desire to let students be somewhat self-reliant and go quickly through a lecture so that there’s time at the end to do other things.
We did get out of class at least a half an hour early as a result of going through things that fast. I won’t necessarily complain about that.
But to be completely honest, I would have preferred to get out of that class on-time if it meant going through the lecture at a slower pace so everyone could understand it better, regardless of how they take notes.
Yet in the end I suppose that’s a personal preference, so I’ll just leave it at that. It’s simply a form of teaching that I don’t really enjoy, but that doesn’t mean I won’t figure out how to adapt.
I’ll probably just print the PowerPoints from here on out.
To end this off, I figure I’ll throw this general topic out to you all in the audience. Have you encountered any teaching practices that you don’t enjoy? Or maybe the opposite, any teaching practices you really enjoy?
Let me know about them in the comments! I’m interested to hear about some preferences today