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shifting learning out of the classroom

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:32 pm UTC
by >-)
Has anyone else experienced a trend of moving the actual learning outside the classroom at different "levels"?
I'm not criticizing the teaching, but I noticed that the amount I learn inside the classroom versus outside has decreased.

In high school, classes usually consisted of
1. Introducing a new topic (for example, the chain rule)
2. Demonstration of the new technique on a few examples by instructor.
3. A short exercise for students to try it out for themselves (usually in small groups)

A format more typical in university:
1. Introduction of topic (a theorem or an algorithm)
2. One or more proofs about the topic
3. Application of the theorem or technique.
4. Actual familiarity about the topic is only gained after playing around with it in the homework.

And lately with some graduate classes it looks more like this.
1. Introduction / motivation / background of a topic (takes up a significant portion of the class)
2. A bunch of theorems / claims with proofs not given (or sometimes, lecturer gives 30 second "sketch" of the proof accompanied by a few slides of equations no one can possibly read in time)
3. Proofs located in "required" reading / done as homework. Learning actually happens here.

If it's relevant, my major is computer science. I think the last class format is the most interesting. It almost makes the most sense in that all the information about the subject is probably readily available on the internet, and the difficulty is forming a big picture view of the topic. At the same time, it can also be a bit tricky to adapt to if you're not familiar with it.

Re: shifting learning out of the classroom

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:03 pm UTC
by LaserGuy
This is fairly common in physics at graduate or even senior undergraduate levels as well. Typical textbook might read "Equation 2.5 can be derived in a trivial manner from Equation 2.3 and 2.4. The details of the proof are left as an exercise to the reader (see problem 2.12)". Where "a trivial manner" might be a 10 or 15 page proof.

Re: shifting learning out of the classroom

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:29 am UTC
by Ginger
College level classes bore-bore me to death and sleep. The instructor drones on a lecture I cannot follow and then throws the students to the wolves to, "Figure it out yourselves." I like high school classes better. At least the teachers don't simply lecture at you and actually stay after class sometimes to help you get what you're doing. When I went to a college class I was so-so bored and sleepy that I didn't even bother paying attention to anything the professor said. High school classes seem way-way more beginner friendly than college level classes.