Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blood and Lymph

Blood and Lymph is halfway done (it's only a three week course.) I still have mixed feelings about the way the class is set up. I do like that it is more clinically based...what makes this kind of anemia different from this other type, malaria vs basesiosis, Epstein Barr Viral infection vs cytomegaloviral infection, etc.

 I'm not quite convinced that the small groups are the efficient answer. By now, I optimistically remember maybe 10% of what I learned in gross anatomy. To fix the retention problem, we are in groups of 8 and assigned a workload too heavy to complete individually. We teach each other our area of specialty. I knew how to do well in the past courses, changing the format is very disorienting. Also, I have a big problem with the higher proportion of sub-par lecturers. I have listened to quite a few lectures in my lifetime and I'll be listening to quite a few more, and here is a list of things to NOT do when you are the teacher:

1.) Talking in monotone. Six hours is a long time to listen to one pitch.
2.) Rehearse your presentation. I can read your slides too. Tell me what you want me to know from them, give me some interesting connections and insights, or spare me that hour and let me know I should just study on my own.
3.) Pace yourself. I can't decide whether too fast or too slow is worse. 
4.) Don't make real-time lecture mandatory. Everything is recorded. You can buy my presence with points, but you have to win my attention. If no one is coming to your lectures, try listening to one to find out why. (Don't try guilt either...make your presentation worthwhile and we'll all be happier.)
5.) Don't ask us questions. (Most of the lectures are streamed live from the parent campus so we have limited interaction with the lecturer. If they ask us a question, it takes an order of minutes to find a microphone, turn it on, adjust volume, and respond. Additionally, if students from the mother campus answer, it's lost to us.) Technology gets in the way of real interaction.

We have our first test on Tuesday and I'll suspend final judgement until the course is over.

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