Ruminations on a semester finished…

Summer School is over. Done. Kaput.

This was an experiment, on two levels. One, for me to take a course prior to teaching same; and second, adapting a semester-long course into a six-week quickie version.

Note to self: do not teach advanced classes during a six-week session. There is not enough time for the knowledge to sink in – the eureka moment arrives a bit late for most students.

Second note to self: students do not necessarily recall much if anything useful from prior semesters; even down to the trivia of how to log in to computers in our Hands-On-Lab (procedure has been the same for six years now). Do not expect students to have practiced any of the skills taught in prior courses.

Taking a class in preparation to teach it was an eye-opener. I have a much better idea of where the confusing parts are, which parts will be easy, and how problematic a lecture-intensive class is for non-native English speakers.

I do hope the students this fall read the book before class. It makes it easier on me and they’re more likely to pass the quizzes…

2 thoughts on “Ruminations on a semester finished…”

  1. Summer classes are indeed challenging when trying to retain all that is taught. While I believe some classes can work out quite well in a shortened format, the majority require quite a bit of dedication on the part of both student and teacher. What class did you take? I’m quite curious!

  2. I took the Network Essentials course, mostly as a review of what would be in it, and also as a way to prepare to teach the material. As mentioned above, I have a much better idea of which parts will be problems… and I’m going to re-sequence the textbook. Overall I like this textbook, excepting the bizarre placement of certain material. The main item of concern is creating some hands-on labs which will reinforce concepts introduced, and are portable to any classroom on campus.

    The other class I’ll be teaching is System Analysis and Design… a bustling classroom is a good thing… great war stories for this one as well.

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