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  1. #1
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Default By the book teaching - Pros and Cons

    What's been your experience with teachers teaching by the books vs branching out?

    This semester is the hardest class of all, and it's because there's very little guidance, a TON of material, an impossibility for memorization of all of that material, and the instructors don't give us hints or tips on what is truly important. So you spend 10 hours memorizing something that is important in class but useless for the exam, and if you forget the exact wording of a single sentence in the book you'll miss an entire test question. The students hate the professors for it, but the professors also get very very little true feedback either. The questions come STRAIGHT out of the exam's book that's been provided, even if they are tricky, the book is expensive and students pay a lot of money so they validate that by pulling the material out of there, and they want to weed out students who really want to be nurses from those floating through the program forcing you to read all of that material and work your ass off just to not see 80% of it on the exam. On top of that, students hardly read the book until the last minute, so none of them go into the office during regular times and ask questions about aspects they might not understand to request further teaching and they claim they're always available. No one really exhausts those resources, but they're quick to complain.

    I really see it from both sides of the issue... Students want teachers to be proactive, teachers want students to be proactive.

    What's been your best balance between stuff in the textbook and teachers? Did you learn more when textbooks weren't used? And I don't mean "I got a better experience out of it" I mean truly learned the material for the future or whatever.

    The best classes I had, and the ones I learned the most from, were by-the-book classes with significant augmentation that motivated me to actually read the book. I've heard people say they cannot learn from a book. And I think it's a little nonsense--anyone can learn from a book if they can read. I think the best set ups have always been when teachers make you read the book BEFORE class, go to class and test your knowledge, then you hear it out loud on the day after you read with lots of cool videos, tricks and tips for memorizing the material, then two days later hands on training with a lab for science courses, and then during the weekend create a review sheet on the concepts you needed to learn to have something to reference later for an exam. The classes I didn't need the book for were the classes I memorized and dumped immediately after exams.

    I think my program lacks so much the hands-on portion as well as the interactive teaching element. They don't require students to read the book before, so we don't because there's so much to do, and don't give much guidance on what's truly important and they just hand us powerpoints and books and say "here, read this, good luck" pretty much. So many great nurses potentially are floundering with the material, and there's little consideration for people with ESL obstacles.

    So what's been your experience in school?
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  2. #2
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    What's been your best balance between stuff in the textbook and teachers? Did you learn more when textbooks weren't used? And I don't mean "I got a better experience out of it" I mean truly learned the material for the future or whatever.
    That depends on the book, and the subject. I have taken classes where there was no decent textbook that covered the material, or covered it the way the instructor wanted. Class materials then were photocopies of chapters here and there, some journal papers, and instructor notes. Attendance was critical because it was the instructor who tied it all together. In a sense, if you can teach yourself something out of a book, why have an instructor? That being said, I teach myself things from books or papers all the time now, but still often end up talking with someone who is an expert in what I want to learn.

    Fortunately I have not had to take many classes that rely on rote memorization. Most have required problem solving of one kind or another. The best learning, then, came from working through the homework and going over it in class. Better yet was hands-on learning. I always struggled with course work, but when I got into the lab, it was a different story.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I don't learn from textbooks what so ever. I don't even open them as it's a waste of time for me. if i do it's to go to the review page and get the questions and key terms and learn that way. Thank god that now there's video lessons i can watch and exercises online that give you immediate feedback. I learn more with flash cards, practice quizzes, and assignments. And no I really can't, I don't retain info when I read. even fiction I'll read it I'll think it's good maybe retain less than 1% but I will not be able to tell you what's it about or anything only that it's good. I've tried I do better tossing the book to the side and using videos and hands on methods. Though I do have online access to the books and their's a listening option maybe if I did that I'd have better success with it

    It annoys the shit out of me when I have put out an honest effort to try something multiple times and someone to tell me that i'm lazy or what i'm saying is bullshit.
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  4. #4
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I try to use the textbook to prepare for class or lab, but that doesn't always happen. Learning style-wise, I personally prefer having a prof explain it, but, sometimes, when the pace is too fast and I just miss the entire concept, I go back and do a more detailed reading of the textbook to try to get a better understanding.

    Memorization is really hard unless I'm actively using that information. So I try to expose myself to the material a few times through and try to relate it to what we are doing as we go along. My program has a TON of hands-on learning too though. So you learn it by implementing it as well. There is still stuff, like neuroscience and a lot of the anatomy where you do have to just suck it up and try to memorize. But you'll never learn it all, and that's ok too.

    I'm definitely referring back to textbooks from prior semesters recently (esp anatomy and neuro) to refresh previous concepts now that we're on more applied/advanced topics and I need to brush up on my knowledge.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    the amount of pseudo intellectuals on this site, i'm surprised there's not more replies to this thread
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