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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Too Much Stuff Too Fast


Why do college professors load their students up on work?
Good question and no universal answer.
I suspect it is because we are “experts” in our fields and therefore know how important what we teach really is. Students are often only in the class to get the basics, earn a grade and move on toward their larger goals. The system does not reinforce with students how education is cumulative, and how every class you take has a value in your overall life and may be of greater vale in your future.
As an undergrad I took an Energy Engineering class simply because I would have to hang around the campus anyway between classes and could us it to fill time and elective credits. I knew next to nothing about engineering for the topic. But when the 1980’s energy crisis hit and every one since I have been able to use the information I learned to translate complex information into something most people can understand. This assisted me in earning awards as a journalist and in being a better teacher as my careers progressed.
Another reason is that school accreditation, the outside bodies that determine if your course credits transfer to other schools, depends on a college level of instruction, research and work completed by students.

Instructors and the departments they work for know that, but most students do not have a clue as to the bigger picture. We have to teach you specific information and to make sure you understand and use it before you move on to other courses and other schools.
A third reason may be that we are looking for those student who will excel in our courses and perhaps become interested in our fields of study. We provide the information at a level that will challenge all students, including those who have an aptitude and interests in the course material. That is not to say teachers should ignore their other students. On the contrary. Helping all students to understand the material and pass the course is one of the great balancing acts and challenges of teaching.
It is also necessary to understand that college instructors and university faculty, unlike high school teachers, are not responsible to teach all the students, only those who are ready for college and interested in the material (the exception being the preparatory courses, usually starting with a zero before the course number, which exist to make up or material which students may not have had the opportunity to master in high school but need to be successful in their college level coursework).
Finally, college is not a side thing to take for granted. Treat your college experience as if it were a cross between a job and your passion in life. You need to prioritize and know that your professors are not loading you up on work as much as they are trying to help you build the foundation of your future, a sound foundation.
Students today are the leaders, innovators, workers and family leaders for the future. Instructors know that and often go out of the way to help students to, as the old Army slogan went, “be all you can be.”

-Art Lynch

First posted 9/07/2009

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Debbie Peterson COM 101 (tus thur 8am)

I was just talking with my dad about some of the things you touched upon in this blog posting. Today what students learn or are taught in class, highschool is what I refer to because I am new to college, is nothing compared to the teachings that my parents when through. They had to learn more in their studies. My dad would ask if I had read such and such book or learned about this or that and would be a little surprised to hear I had not. I am kind of dissapointed to know that I was not being taugh to the level that used to be the standard. I do think that we students today see some classes as if we just have to get this one done with a good grade and never touch upon it again. I also feel that way about psycology right now, I took a psy class in highschool, and feel that if I am not going into psy as a field then I don't need to go into such depth, but then again I do not know everything that is right and so it may come in handy one day.
DEBBIE

Anonymous said...

Professors also tend to load students up on work in hopes that every student can grasp the concepts because it has been reinforced with a heavy amount of work. Repetition is the easiest way to guarentee something will be learned.
Destiny Gillin Com 101 Section 116

Kristina T. Com101 said...

This is a very interesting topic. I agree and disagree. I agree because us as college students attend classes expected to be mature and more knowledgeable about the certain subject and that we at least know if not a lot but at least a few things about the class we are taking. Some students come in and take advantage of what high school was like where in every class we start off being refreshed and we then begin the class so relaxed and lack the efforts of remembering what where taught the previous years. Then again I disagree since of all the things I've said, just because we are expected to know a few things about the class we are taking in college without being constantly reminded of what and how it is (like what teachers do in high school), what if we dont know anything, absolutely nothing about the class we are about to take. Thats why we are taking the class. To learn. So in both ways, I believe we should be taught and for others refreshed about the subject.

DSWilliams said...

Hi
I am in total agreement with the title of this article. Too much too fast. However we are adaptable creatures.

Darryl S williams COM 101 9:30T

Art Lynch, Createcom said...

There is review and repetition. But less than High School. In effect in college you are required to read the book, do the work and attend class. If you choose not to, there is little to no penalty other than your grade and what you may not know when you need it in future courses. Education is repetition, but it is also cumulative. It builds.

joshua ashley com101-116 said...

Thanks for the wisdom. I often find myself grasping for "the bigger picture".

James Isom com 101-111 said...

There are definitely some things there that I had not thought of before... certainly a bigger picture than I had realized. I wonder though, when it really will be TOO much. It seems fairly consistent that criteria is ever increasing and becoming more rapid. In 9th grade some of the things I had to learn are what my parents learned at the end of their high school career, or even in college. Today there are kids learning things in 3rd or 4th grade that I didn't learn until Jr. High. We are only human and our brains can only function so fast. I wonder when expectations of the education of individuals will completely surpass the ability to learn and retain that the vast majority of people are capable of.

Art Lynch, Createcom said...

While some things are taught earlier much has been lost and is not taught until much later. There is a reason that over 60% nationally of college entry-level student have to take non-credit remedial courses before taking required college classes. I can attest that except in professional programs (like nursing) much of what you learn at the Community College level was once taught at the high school level or below.

Teaching to the test, less educated teachers, a decrease in humanities and liberal arts focus, the need to push too much too fast (driven by computers) on students, budget problems, crime, decrease in the central or nuclear family are all possible reasons for the strange mix of early and late in what should be basic education and skills.

What is being done to improve things? What can be done? Are we better off now? Are we training students to be cogs in a machine or free thinkers and dreamers? What would you do to improve or change education? How much is the parent’s responsibility?

Feel free to post your solutions, ideas, suggestions or research links.

Anonymous said...

i have never really thought of it in that way. I agree an disagree in some ways but doing the work is part of school and learning. If you cant handle it and dont ask for help you probably shouldnt be attending.
Amanda Mckelvey Com 101 sec 111

Dayna LaHullier comm 101 said...

Too much too fast does seem to be a problem at the college level. I feel teachers especially for classes that are "required" for graduation need to take into account the percentage of their students that are forced to be there. Lets take Math for example, I hate math and Im bad at it but I understand the theory that schools want to churn out "well-rounded" students so, I accept the inevitable. Now once I get to my Math class I can expect to have a teacher that has a Masters or better in Math, a subject he or she is passionate about. Now starts the problem, you want your teacher to be passionate about what they are teaching but at an early level there needs to be an understanding that we the students may not feel that way. I admire that at the college level many teachers speak to the student body almost as equals but it has to be remembered that for the most part our education levels are not quite the same. Its college though you have to take classes you dont like and do ridiculous amounts of work on things you could carelss about. But how can you know you dont like something if you dont know anything about it. Even though teachers tend to push so much work you cant even hope to take it all in, one must accept it just is what it is.

Norma said...

I believe Professors know what there doing.I think we tend to underestimate ourselves and when we push ourselves there is growth.
Norma Jaynes Com101 sec116

Alexis Besaw COM 101 said...

If students prioritize, the work load can be worked with. You want the grade, you find a way to get everything done and ask for the extra help if needed. Anything can be done and conquered.

Bret said...

We all know the teacher is doing the right thing. There all want the students to sucessed in life and go onto bigger and better things. Don t give up.

KEN said...

College is different then high school. You are require to attend school, read and do then the things that help you move on to the future. In high school teachers tell you and show you to many times to do this and that, in college thats the real world. The title "Too much to fast" thats what college is, you choose to go and you make that decison. Kenneth Satowski COM 101-111.

Anonymous said...

College is different then high school. You are require to attend school, read and do then the things that help you move on to the future. In high school teachers tell you and show you to many times to do this and that, in college thats the real world. The title "Too much to fast" thats what college is, you choose to go and you make that decison. Kenneth Satowski COM 101-111.

Anonymous said...

College is different then high school. You are require to attend school, read and do then the things that help you move on to the future. In high school teachers tell you and show you to many times to do this and that, in college thats the real world. The title "Too much to fast" thats what college is, you choose to go and you make that decison. ken satowski comp 101 111

Kyle Efthemes Com 101 said...

I think the " too much too fast " phrase is honestly a maturity issue more than anything. I could blame my high school teachers as much as i want, but the fact remains that I didn't.'t want to be there, or learn what they wanted to teach. Now that i am older and done things on my own I understand i need and want this education, and i honestly feel there is nothing i can tackle period!

yekaterina klebanova said...

Well everyone has theire opinion and mine is the fact that classes that are too easy are boring and you never learn anything in them and classes are too hard are just overwhelming and you feel like you scared even to return to one. Everyone learns differently but if you take your time and put your time in the class anything can be achieved you just have to want it. Leaving everything to the last minute wont due anyone good. So sometimes teachers due give you a lot but if you start early you can be very good at the subject and learn something

yekaterina klebanova said...

Everyone learns in a different way and teachers are just trying to teach us how to be responsible and take care of things in the beginning and not handle all at the end. You only overwhelm your self and not anyone does it for you. Learn how to put things in prespective and maybe you would be ready for the future. Prioritizing is something people need to learn how to due

Lindsey Chapter said...

Granted, this is the first time I have been to college in over ten years, and the first time I have ever taken a full course load, but I just don't think the amount of work assigned is that taxing. A lot of reading and writing, sure, but you have far more time to do it, since you spend so little time in a classroom. Maybe it will get harder when I get past the basics, but at this point, it just doesn't seem that difficult.

Art Lynch said...

You will find toward the end of the term the workload in all classes will increase dramatically. The questions are are we expected to learn too much too quickly? Is there too much information? How to you cope? Of course if you find something easy you can, for your own self, use Angel and other resources, Internet and physical library, to learn more and go into greater depth then the course, and come out ahead! For you own reasons.

Kimberly said...

COM101-550

We are the ones paying for our education. The way I see it is the more information a Professor is willing to give me the better off I am. It sometimes is alot but we chose the classes we take. You want less information at one time take a class more days a week. It is only obvious that if you take a class that is only one day a week you are going to be piled with tons of information from your professor on that day.

nicole said...

BC 550
I have similar experiences, when I was I decided I didnt want to go to high school anymore so the only way I could get it done faster was to go to college at the same time. At the time I wanted to be a child psychologist so I wound up taking the rest of my high school classes and a Child Development class and Psych 101. I later decided that I wanted to go to school for hair. So I was done with highschool and moved on to beauty school. Ive been doing hair for 3 years now and im sick of it. So I decided that I am going to do what Ive wanted to do for a long time and do Nursing, turns out that the classes I took when I was 16 are classes that I need as prerequisites for the Nursing Program!!!

Anonymous said...

time management is very important so that one does not get overwhelmed and diamonds are a product of pressure.when you have a lot of work to do in college may help you in the future when you get loaded up in work so that you don't panic and pull your hair out.
M,Abid com 101

Shandy said...

I think some of what you get out of college depends on your age and interests. I have done a little research and have found that some of this information being taught is very useful in everyday life because I am experienced and have things I c an relate the information to. However, someone much younger than me may not be able to use it right away so they may get less of it.

Shandy Slight
COM 101-550

Anonymous said...

Cherish- I think instead of the teachers loading up the student with pointless work that they should only stress the information that is needed. The average person only remembers 10% of what they read, 15% of what they hear, and 80% of what they experience.

http://www.school-teacher-student-motivation-resources-courses.com/acceleratedlearning.html

Kayla Geale said...

Wow, all these comments prove valid points. But I believe that teachers force so much on you is because you're only going to absorb half it anyway, and it's their job to make sure you do. So they have to find multiple ways to ensure that they are doing their job the best they can. And hey, you never know what you're going to actually use later in life. Life's funny that way.