I know this sounds like an angry fit, but I really do want some input as to the different thought processes when it comes to teaching, as I've noticed a total lack of efficiency in my classes this semester in comparison to other classes in previous semesters.
I'm under the impression that students take classes because it's difficult to learn it on your own in comparison to having someone with expertise teaching you. That's why people take classes normally instead of reading and testing out of courses.
Since this, to me, is the primary function of classes, students should succeed with an A every time if they 1. Attend every class and participate by taking notes, paying attention, and completing classwork. 2. Do all homework assigned. and 3. Study these two things before tests.
Here's what I don't understand. Why do teachers bother to set things up in a non-straight forward way? I understand challenging students, but why do things like this:
- Read entire chapters for homework assignments.
- Don't assign homework or require any readings but have these things on the test
- Give notes in class in length and depth that are not at all covered on tests.
If it's important, it should be on the test. If it's not, there shouldn't be much note-taking on it. If you assign entire chapters and then go over the chapter in class, fine.. but why assign entire chapters and never bother to go over it? This is the reason I go to classes, to avoid reading and attempting to comprehend these things on my own. Why not make things on the test (like assignments online with quizzes pulled verbatim for the test) required homework or classwork?
These points are, in my opinion, attempts to trip up students and lower success, which is the opposite of what I thought education was all about and I don't know why teachers do these things. This is especially true for the first tests of the semester, which give you a feel for how following tests will be conducted.. But test scores are a major deal, so knowing what to expect for the first one should be included in detail in comparison to future tests.
Two examples: We have to write an essay on Obama, Hannity, and Maddow on healthcare. The essay needs to be at least two pages, and we have to watch hours of videos throughout the course of a couple weeks to create this essay. ... It's world religion class, and none of it pertains to neither world religion itself or the test we need to have it done by. We also took lengthy notes on different philosophers on religion, tons of vocabulary, and none of any of it was on the test. Infact, the only thing that was on the test was questions taken straight out of a chapter. We never talked about feminism once, but had questions about it on the test. The class average was a 70, with only one A at 90.
Biology class never required chapter reading, masteringbiology.com's assignments, etc. as homework. We take extensive notes in the class, the teacher talks in tantrums and gets off subject, tells the class that the tests are more lecture based and note-based, and gives a review sheet covering the four chapters. Many questions were lifted directly from the book and the website's quizzes and weren't covered in class, and many questions on the review never made it to the test.. but there were plenty of questions omitted from the review. Class average was a 59, with the highest score an 82.
Why would teachers set things up in a way where the students are going to struggle and fail so much?
To summarize: I understand challenge is good and all, but where do you cross the line between the professor being lazy and undedicated, and where students want their hands held?