"Nearly half of the nation's undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 22, 2011 1:36 AM GMT
    More signs of an educational bubble:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-01-18-littlelearning18_ST_N.htm?csp=hf&loc=interstitialskip

    More here: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/many-students-learn-little-to-nothing-in-college-surprise/
    The next financial bubble is out there. It is comprised of people like your son who are carrying enormous debt without any prospect of paying it off. They are going to default. It’s our fault, you say. Well, you say that now. But if we gave your son the grades he deserved you both would have screamed foul and due processed us to death. If your son is a member of some protected class, we would have had to defend against the accusation that we discriminated against him. Anyhow, he got more than he deserved, and the rest of us subsidized his education directly or indirectly with our tax dollars. Of course, you do know that we are going to have to pick up the defaults, just as we picked up the sub-prime mortgages. . . .

    When the defaults come, we will print more money and maybe foreclose on a few for-profit institutions. There will be congressional hearings, a few scapegoats from the for-profit world, and a few horror stories about exploitative student loans. There will be an academic Enron and an academic Countrywide. When the smoke clears, the academic AIG will have bailed out the academic Goldman Sachs for one hundred cents on the dollar. And it will be business as usual.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 22, 2011 2:39 AM GMT
    Where to begin with how bad your logic is....

    1. The two are falsely being correlated here. Whether or not a student learns much in college is separate of the fact that more and more students are graduating in debt and there are fewer and fewer jobs to be had. All students, regardless of how much they learn, are at the mercy of this. The simple fact is college is vastly more expansive than it's ever been and there are fewer jobs for new graduates. Kids not learning enough in college will not solve the problem of the cost or lack of jobs.

    2. What the author of your second link conveniently tap dances around is that the study blames hired faculty (tenured most likely) who don't care about teaching, which is him. He makes excuses about parents making a stink; yet, he feels he is without blame because his reason for not doling out appropriate grades isn't debated. Grade inflation and the fact that tenured faculty aren't teaching well is an issue, and your author is causing the problem because he is actually in the position to change things, not these ghost parents.

    3. What's hilarious is that the author of the second link seems like a sexist idiot. He sees the situation in such a binary of math and science vs. liberal arts. He even reduces it to men vs. females, but, again, neglects fact. If you read other versions of the first link, you'll learn that a major problem cited is students aren't reading or writing enough, and it's blamed on science and math faculty who not only hand out inflated grades, but also do not force their students to crack open a book or write a paper. The liberal arts he assails is actually not causing that problem... but that would be like me pointing out that his logic of women getting all upset over the dominance of men in math and science-related jobs isn't sexist because more of them study those disciplines-- despite the fact that he ignores that the numbers of hires and promotions are not reflective of the numbers of those people who study those majors (proportionally speaking, which one would think he'd know all about working with numbers) and that women are constantly experiencing gender discrimination in cases where they are as qualified if not more than their male counterparts.

    4. You're proof of this non-learning thing because if you tried to write a paper about this in my liberal-arts, female-heavy composition course I would fail you for your fallacies and flaws in logic.
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    Jan 22, 2011 2:49 AM GMT
    calibro saidWhere to begin with how bad your logic is....

    1. The two are falsely being correlated here. Whether or not a student learns much in college is separate of the fact that more and more students are graduating in debt and there are fewer and fewer jobs to be had. All students, regardless of how much they learn, are at the mercy of this. The simple fact is college is vastly more expansive than it's ever been and there are fewer jobs for new graduates. Kids not learning enough in college will not solve the problem of the cost or lack of jobs.

    2. What the author of your second link conveniently tap dances around is that the study blames hired faculty (tenured most likely) who don't care about teaching, which is him. He makes excuses about parents making a stink; yet, he feels he is without blame because his reason for not doling out appropriate grades isn't debated. Grade inflation and the fact that tenured faculty aren't teaching well is an issue, and your author is causing the problem because he is actually in the position to change things, not these ghost parents.

    3. What's hilarious is that the author of the second link seems like a sexist idiot. He sees the situation in such a binary of math and science vs. liberal arts. He even reduces it to men vs. females, but, again, neglects fact. If you read other versions of the first link, you'll learn that a major problem cited is students aren't reading or writing enough, and it's blamed on science and math faculty who not only hand out inflated grades, but do not force their students to crack open a book or write a paper. The liberal arts he assails is actually not causing that problem... but that would be like me pointing out that his logic of women getting all upset of the dominance of men in math and science-related job isn't sexist because more of them study those disciplines-- despite the fact that he ignores that the numbers of hires and promotions or not reflective of the numbers of those people who study those majors and that women are constantly experiencing gender discrimination in cases where they are as qualified if not more than their male counterparts.

    4. You're proof of this non-learning thing because if you tried to write a paper about this in my liberal-arts, female-heavy composition course I would fail you for your fallacies and flaws in logic.


    I don't doubt your ability to make the arguments you do and the vested position you have, but the bottom line is that there are a number of fields where the economy has a shortage of graduates. The jobs shortage is not across the board. I have not made these arguments however, though I do believe that there is an education bubble.

    The simple rationale is that the cost of education has continued to rise significantly faster than inflation - and it's not sustainable. That there graduates are now questioning the value of their degrees and its ability to add value in the context of a changing economy and the ability to repay those costs with rising amounts of educational debt is I think a good thing. That the first article points out the dubious value especially in the first two years of university is not, I don't think to say that it's useless either - just simply not valuable.

    Not everyone should go to university (and hence we do have a shortage within the trades in both US and Canada) but there is also a bias to encourage everyone to go. Some courses and degrees are worth more than others. Given your surprisingly vicious and personal attempt to attack what you see as "my" arguments on the basis that it's proof of my "non-learning" makes me wonder if your degree and the course you teach falls in the latter category.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 22, 2011 2:55 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    calibro saidWhere to begin with how bad your logic is....

    1. The two are falsely being correlated here. Whether or not a student learns much in college is separate of the fact that more and more students are graduating in debt and there are fewer and fewer jobs to be had. All students, regardless of how much they learn, are at the mercy of this. The simple fact is college is vastly more expansive than it's ever been and there are fewer jobs for new graduates. Kids not learning enough in college will not solve the problem of the cost or lack of jobs.

    2. What the author of your second link conveniently tap dances around is that the study blames hired faculty (tenured most likely) who don't care about teaching, which is him. He makes excuses about parents making a stink; yet, he feels he is without blame because his reason for not doling out appropriate grades isn't debated. Grade inflation and the fact that tenured faculty aren't teaching well is an issue, and your author is causing the problem because he is actually in the position to change things, not these ghost parents.

    3. What's hilarious is that the author of the second link seems like a sexist idiot. He sees the situation in such a binary of math and science vs. liberal arts. He even reduces it to men vs. females, but, again, neglects fact. If you read other versions of the first link, you'll learn that a major problem cited is students aren't reading or writing enough, and it's blamed on science and math faculty who not only hand out inflated grades, but do not force their students to crack open a book or write a paper. The liberal arts he assails is actually not causing that problem... but that would be like me pointing out that his logic of women getting all upset of the dominance of men in math and science-related job isn't sexist because more of them study those disciplines-- despite the fact that he ignores that the numbers of hires and promotions or not reflective of the numbers of those people who study those majors and that women are constantly experiencing gender discrimination in cases where they are as qualified if not more than their male counterparts.

    4. You're proof of this non-learning thing because if you tried to write a paper about this in my liberal-arts, female-heavy composition course I would fail you for your fallacies and flaws in logic.


    I don't doubt your ability to make the arguments you do and the vested position you have, but the bottom line is that there are a number of fields where the economy has a shortage of graduates. The jobs shortage is not across the board. I have not made these arguments however, though I do believe that there is an education bubble.

    The simple rationale is that the cost of education has continued to rise significantly faster than inflation - and it's not sustainable. That there graduates are now questioning the value of their degrees and its ability to add value in the context of a changing economy and the ability to repay those costs with rising amounts of educational debt is I think a good thing. That the first article points out the dubious value especially in the first two years of university is not, I don't think to say that it's useless either - just simply not valuable.

    Not everyone should go to university (and hence we do have a shortage within the trades in both US and Canada) but there is also a bias to encourage everyone to go. Some courses and degrees are worth more than others. Given your surprisingly vicious and personal attempt to attack what you see as "my" arguments on the basis that it's proof of my "non-learning" makes me wonder if your degree and the course you teach falls in the latter category.


    Well, golly Batman! How was I supposed to know the points you were making when all you posted were two links and a correlating sentence on how to conflate their relation? Those are valid points you make, but are not spoken of in either of the pieces, and yet you assume that a reader will know these magical concepts you're referring to despite no indication of them. Again, I would fail you because you're not actually writing or talking about what you actually intend to discuss. You seem intelligent riddler, but your arguments are spurious not because they're bad per se, but because they are presented poorly. What you're attempting to talk about is not reflected in this post nor in those links. In the words of the Mad Hatter, mean what you say and say what you mean.

    Side point, I'm actually lumped into the category or successful instructors because I am not tenured and I work solely to teach.
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    Jan 22, 2011 2:58 AM GMT
    Standardized tests have a hard time measuring growth. Although I definitely think its true that some professors are terrible, I think it would be hard to quantify the experience that students actually get in college. I teach a tough statistics course. At the end of the course, students have collected their own data and learned how to hand-calculate 6 different statistics tests, run the same tests in excel and SPSS and present this research to their peers for a crititque of their methods. How do standardized tests measure that? I can tell you: they don't. (My PhD is in Educational Studies with an emphasis on psychometrics)

    I do think there is a major problem with the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure system. Clearly, research drives much of the career success of faculty. Faculty at many institutions must "publish, or perish". The strength of their teaching is not weighted heavily in the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure decisions. But, research is. Faculty are under enormous pressure to publish. This is the research by the way that leads to new medicine, new structural designs for hurricane-proof buildings, better teaching methods, better health programs, better music, etc. etc. etc. But, the system that faculty are in only rewards them for great research, not for great teaching. So, I think it is true that many times faculty are forced to shift their attention more to their research than to their students.

    But, I digress. The real challenge is to try to quantify the experience that students get from college. Good luck there. What I teach in my class is aimed directly at helping students understand quantitative research and prepare them for a career in behavioral science. Yes, that sounds like critical thinking, but clearly what is tested and what is taught can be mismatched.
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:00 AM GMT
    As a current college freshman who has just started his third semester, I can attest to the fact that I have learned nothing thus far.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Jan 22, 2011 3:01 AM GMT
    no no.... you should have said.... nearly all college graduates find that college seemingly was/is a pointless endeavor in this economy
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 22, 2011 3:01 AM GMT
    Rockbiter saidStandardized tests have a hard time measuring growth. Although I definitely think its true that some professors are terrible, I think it would be hard to quantify the experience that students actually get in college. I teach a tough statistics course. At the end of the course, students have collected their own data and learned how to hand-calculate 6 different statistics tests, run the same tests in excel and SPSS and present this research to their peers for a crititque of their methods. How do standardized tests measure that? I can tell you: they don't. (My PhD is in Educational Studies with an emphasis on psychometrics)

    I do think there is a major problem with the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure system. Clearly, research drives much of the career success of faculty. Faculty at many institutions must "publish, or perish". The strength of their teaching is not weighted heavily in the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure decisions. But, research is. Faculty are under enormous pressure to publish. This is the research by the way that leads to new medicine, new structural designs for hurricane-proof buildings, better teaching methods, better health programs, better music, etc. etc. etc. But, the system that faculty are in only rewards them for great research, not for great teaching. So, I think it is true that many times faculty are forced to shift their attention more to their research than to their students.

    But, I digress. The real challenge is to try to quantify the experience that students get from college. Good luck there. What I teach in my class is aimed directly at helping students understand quantitative research and prepare them for a career in behavioral science. Yes, that sounds like critical thinking, but clearly what is tested and what is taught can be mismatched.


    On a completely-related note, you're a hot professor. Do you teach at the University of Cincinnati? If so... I have applied to their doctoral program.... icon_biggrin.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 22, 2011 3:04 AM GMT
    amns66 saidAs a current college freshman who has just started his third semester, I can attest to the fact that I have learned nothing thus far.


    As a college instructor and student, I then have to ask what are you doing to change that? Are you taking the easy classes? Are you complaining to the department chair? If I were paying all that money for the degree and taking classes I wanted to learn more in but wasn't I wouldn't be sitting idly while my money went to waste. This is what they mean by college being the real world: if you want to be better, you have to push yourself, and that means taking the harder classes if you want to get ahead.
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:04 AM GMT
    calibro saidWell, golly Batman! How was I supposed to know the points you were making when all you posted were two links and a correlating sentence on how to conflate their relation? Those are valid points you make, but are not spoken of in either of the pieces, and yet you assume that a reader will know these magical concepts you're referring to despite no indication of them. Again, I would fail you because you're not actually writing or talking about what you actually intend to discuss.

    Side point, I'm actually lumped into the category or successful instructors because I am not tenured and I work solely to teach.


    I believe you conflate the importance I have of your opinion. These are mere datapoints of a much broader issue - and that's the value of education relative to its cost. Feel free to agree, disagree or move on.

    I've been coming across a much larger body of articles about education - particularly law degrees for some odd reason through my RSS feeds. It's an issue that I think is worthy of discussion and those are but two datapoints and do not necessarily embody my own - just as I assume when someone else links articles they do not necessarily entirely agree with the underlying points.

    You however have chosen an ad hominem approach to considering the issue which by any measure is a logical failure. More posts will come - including hopefully ones that will come by soon that discuss what the alternative looks like including the role open sourced universities/textbooks, and organizations like khanacademy.org will play likely making a wide number of liberal arts professors obsolete - or at least limiting the value they are able to extract from paying customers for the service they offer.
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:06 AM GMT
    Rockbiter saidStandardized tests have a hard time measuring growth. Although I definitely think its true that some professors are terrible, I think it would be hard to quantify the experience that students actually get in college. I teach a tough statistics course. At the end of the course, students have collected their own data and learned how to hand-calculate 6 different statistics tests, run the same tests in excel and SPSS and present this research to their peers for a crititque of their methods. How do standardized tests measure that? I can tell you: they don't. (My PhD is in Educational Studies with an emphasis on psychometrics)

    I do think there is a major problem with the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure system. Clearly, research drives much of the career success of faculty. Faculty at many institutions must "publish, or perish". The strength of their teaching is not weighted heavily in the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure decisions. But, research is. Faculty are under enormous pressure to publish. This is the research by the way that leads to new medicine, new structural designs for hurricane-proof buildings, better teaching methods, better health programs, better music, etc. etc. etc. But, the system that faculty are in only rewards them for great research, not for great teaching. So, I think it is true that many times faculty are forced to shift their attention more to their research than to their students.

    But, I digress. The real challenge is to try to quantify the experience that students get from college. Good luck there. What I teach in my class is aimed directly at helping students understand quantitative research and prepare them for a career in behavioral science. Yes, that sounds like critical thinking, but clearly what is tested and what is taught can be mismatched.


    Rockbiter - As an aside - given your expertise, and an idea I'm exploring, I wonder what you think of this recent article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/science/21memory.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=science
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 22, 2011 3:07 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    calibro saidWell, golly Batman! How was I supposed to know the points you were making when all you posted were two links and a correlating sentence on how to conflate their relation? Those are valid points you make, but are not spoken of in either of the pieces, and yet you assume that a reader will know these magical concepts you're referring to despite no indication of them. Again, I would fail you because you're not actually writing or talking about what you actually intend to discuss.

    Side point, I'm actually lumped into the category or successful instructors because I am not tenured and I work solely to teach.


    I believe you conflate the importance I have of your opinion. These are mere datapoints of a much broader issue - and that's the value of education relative to its cost. Feel free to agree, disagree or move on.

    I've been coming across a much larger body of articles about education - particularly law degrees for some odd reason through my RSS feeds. It's an issue that I think is worthy of discussion and those are but two datapoints and do not necessarily embody my own - just as I assume when someone else links articles they do not necessarily entirely agree with the underlying points.

    You however have chosen an ad hominem approach to considering the issue which by any measure is a logical failure. More posts will come - including hopefully ones that will come by soon that discuss what the alternative looks like including the role open sourced universities/textbooks, and organizations like khanacademy.org will play likely making a wide number of liberal arts professors obsolete - or at least limiting the value they are able to extract from paying customers for the service they offer.


    umm... perhaps you should go back and read the added text to my post, which i posted while you were busy writing this... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 22, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    calibro said
    riddler78 said
    calibro saidWell, golly Batman! How was I supposed to know the points you were making when all you posted were two links and a correlating sentence on how to conflate their relation? Those are valid points you make, but are not spoken of in either of the pieces, and yet you assume that a reader will know these magical concepts you're referring to despite no indication of them. Again, I would fail you because you're not actually writing or talking about what you actually intend to discuss.

    Side point, I'm actually lumped into the category or successful instructors because I am not tenured and I work solely to teach.


    I believe you conflate the importance I have of your opinion. These are mere datapoints of a much broader issue - and that's the value of education relative to its cost. Feel free to agree, disagree or move on.

    I've been coming across a much larger body of articles about education - particularly law degrees for some odd reason through my RSS feeds. It's an issue that I think is worthy of discussion and those are but two datapoints and do not necessarily embody my own - just as I assume when someone else links articles they do not necessarily entirely agree with the underlying points.

    You however have chosen an ad hominem approach to considering the issue which by any measure is a logical failure. More posts will come - including hopefully ones that will come by soon that discuss what the alternative looks like including the role open sourced universities/textbooks, and organizations like khanacademy.org will play likely making a wide number of liberal arts professors obsolete - or at least limiting the value they are able to extract from paying customers for the service they offer.


    umm... perhaps you should go back and read the added text to my post, which i posted while you were busy writing this... icon_rolleyes.gif


    And for the record, you didn't use the word "conflate" correctly in your opening sentence. and since you're trying to get on fallacies, what I said was not an ad hominem attack... but what you're doing is a straw man argument. So more fail.
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:13 AM GMT
    calibro said
    amns66 saidAs a current college freshman who has just started his third semester, I can attest to the fact that I have learned nothing thus far.


    As a college instructor and student, I then have to ask what are you doing to change that? Are you taking the easy classes? Are you complaining to the department chair? If I were paying all that money for the degree and taking classes I wanted to learn more in but wasn't I wouldn't be sitting idly while my money went to waste. This is what they mean by college being the real world: if you want to be better, you have to push yourself, and that means taking the harder classes if you want to get ahead.


    Well I still have no idea what I want to do with my life and I honestly don't have any ambition. I would like to own my own business someday, but that's little more than a dream. I'm only in college because I can't get anywhere in life without a degree, and I'm only at the college I'm at because I get a huge discount thanks to mommy dearest. I hate the place, I hate the people, and I hate the classes. College for me isn't anything but an obstacle that I have to push through. I'm completely aware of the fact that this kind of attitude is why I haven't and/or probably won't learn anything in college and I'm okay with that. Maybe someday I'll have a change of heart, but the situation I'm in now has made me a stressed out, depressed, and cynical young man. And I'm also aware that I am the only one who can get me out of this situation, but whatever. lol.
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:18 AM GMT
    calibro saidumm... perhaps you should go back and read the added text to my post, which i posted while you were busy writing this... icon_rolleyes.gif

    And for the record, you didn't use the word "conflate" correctly in your opening sentence. and since you're trying to get on fallacies, what I said was not an ad hominem attack... but what you're doing is a straw man argument. So more fail.


    Went back to read it. On the ad hominem: "You're proof of this non-learning thing because if you tried to write a paper about this in my liberal-arts, female-heavy composition course I would fail you for your fallacies and flaws in logic." Ergo, not so much straw man.

    A != B. Sorry. Though I concede on the misuse of the word "conflate". I don't actually agree in the entirety of each of the articles whose links I post. I just simply believe that there is a level of interest in these topics and one that makes for useful discussion fodder.

    As I noted your position you apparently would "fail" me for not presenting it in the first place, versus actually attempting to consider or discuss how this differs from the articles I posted or disagree with any substance. That sounds like a directed personal attack ergo ad hominem to me. You could also say that it's a misdirect as well, but either way, it is a logical fail. Incidentally, meta discussions are boring.

    Bottomline: do you disagree that there is an education bubble?
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 22, 2011 3:26 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    calibro saidumm... perhaps you should go back and read the added text to my post, which i posted while you were busy writing this... icon_rolleyes.gif

    And for the record, you didn't use the word "conflate" correctly in your opening sentence. and since you're trying to get on fallacies, what I said was not an ad hominem attack... but what you're doing is a straw man argument. So more fail.


    Went back to read it. On the ad hominem: "You're proof of this non-learning thing because if you tried to write a paper about this in my liberal-arts, female-heavy composition course I would fail you for your fallacies and flaws in logic." Ergo, not so much straw man.

    A != B. Sorry. Though I concede on the misuse of the word "conflate". I don't actually agree in the entirety of each of the articles whose links I post. I just simply believe that there is a level of interest in these topics and one that makes for useful discussion fodder.

    As I noted your position you apparently would "fail" me for not presenting it in the first place, versus actually attempting to consider or discuss how this differs from the articles I posted or disagree with any substance. That sounds like a directed personal attack ergo ad hominem to me. You could also say that it's a misdirect as well, but either way, it is a logical fail. Incidentally, meta discussions are boring.

    Bottomline: do you disagree that there is an education bubble?


    It depends how you're defining it. If you're trying to say that college is grossly over-priced and that there is a situation where graduates aren't able to secure jobs and thus are accumulating massive debt, then yes, I agree with that assertion. I also agree with the fact that too much emphasis is placed on everyone going to college rather than everyone learning (college, trade school, apprenticeship, etc...) at their appropriate position and for their own personal success. I also agree that there is an issue with how much students are learning in college.

    I do not agree that these points are all related to each other in the creation of a bubble.
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    Rockbiter saidStandardized tests have a hard time measuring growth. Although I definitely think its true that some professors are terrible, I think it would be hard to quantify the experience that students actually get in college.

    I do think there is a major problem with the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure system. Clearly, research drives much of the career success of faculty. Faculty at many institutions must "publish, or perish". The strength of their teaching is not weighted heavily in the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure decisions.


    Yes to the first paragraph and, it depends, to the second.

    On the first comment, the usatoday piece is requoting stuff that has appeared elsewhere. And it is also restating old had stuff from nearly the last 50 years. Even back in the 1960s it was recognized that once a student leaves the classroom, he or she loses 60% of the material within 4 months or so.

    The answer that we use is "practicums' ....that is one unit courses without a syllabus in which the professor reinforces principles learned in class in unrehearsed one hour sections, with no homework and no tests, but in-class excercises. In my case, I drive across the Bay Bridge on the way to work, and whatever I notice in today's weather is something that I use to illustrate a theoretical principle the students learned in the formal classwork.

    With respect to your second comment, at San Francisco State University, the retention, tenure and promotion criteria are weighted as follows....Excellence in Teaching, Professional Development and Growth and Service to the Community. The rubric is generally 50% teaching excellence, 30% research and 20 % Service.

    The teaching excellence metric centers on pretty well designed student evaluations and peer reviews.

    I think that there is gross oversimplification in that article (not your comment Rockbiter, which was very thoughtful). As usual, gross simplification and sloganeering will be used to mischaracterize the severity of the problem, but there is a problem, and we at the university recognize it.
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    The whole country should be reared on Tiger Mom.
    [j/k]
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:29 AM GMT
    riddler78 said


    .


    Rockbiter - As an aside - given your expertise, and an idea I'm exploring, I wonder what you think of this recent article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/science/21memory.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=science


    I am a little suprised by their findings, especially since I am a big fan of concept mapping. My guess though is that the students were looking at the material while they were making concept maps. It doesn't require that students store or deeply process anything. They only have to transfer information from a paragraph into a mapped out structure. The exercise where the students have to read and then be tested is more like the ultimate point of the experiment. So, it makes a lot sense to me that they would do better on that. Ultimately I think students do the best when they actually have to USE the information. Not just memorize it for a test. I'm a big fan of problem based learning. I'm currently trying to figure out how to merge a problem-based format in my class and still make sure they are learning ALL the content. Problem based learning is certainly more engaging and a better learning experience overall because it goes so deeply, but it can be hard to teach some types of courses (like an introductory psychology course thatI also teach). There is so much information; it isn't an easy fit for problem-based learning.
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:40 AM GMT
    Rockbiter said
    Problem based learning is certainly more engaging and a better learning experience overall because it goes so deeply, but it can be hard to teach some types of courses (like an introductory psychology course thatI also teach). There is so much information; it isn't an easy fit for problem-based learning.


    I agree that Problem Based learning is OK only for a limited subset of classes. However, inquiry based learning (which is what I use) can easily be integrated into larger classes.
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    Jan 22, 2011 4:38 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidOkay, I gotta ask: Is there anything trolly about a Canadian starting provocative right-wing threads on RJ (with its somewhat left-leaning audience)? 'Cos if there is, I've got to call you on it, riddler78.


    The OPer consistently posts snarky, baiting, right wing National Enquirer kind of stuff. That's why I try to respond to the issues embedded and mischaracterized within his posts. In this case, there are legitimate concerns about the directions in which the university-education experience is going.

    But the thing is, we recognize this and are trying to remedy it, in the face of ever decreasing budgets, demoralized faculty, and overstressed students. However, the point I am trying to make is that the issues are being magnified to such a degree that they seem disproprtionately large. Things are not as bad as riddler78's headline mischaracterizes (and every single one of his headlines do).

    Is he a shit-disturber for the sake of disturbing shit? Is he being irritating for the sake of being irritating. Of course, the answer is yes to both questions. But there are embedded important issues in this discussion on the status of the university education in the U.S., whether or not he is Canadian.
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    Jan 22, 2011 4:59 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    calibro saidWell, golly Batman! How was I supposed to know the points you were making when all you posted were two links and a correlating sentence on how to conflate their relation? Those are valid points you make, but are not spoken of in either of the pieces, and yet you assume that a reader will know these magical concepts you're referring to despite no indication of them. Again, I would fail you because you're not actually writing or talking about what you actually intend to discuss.

    Side point, I'm actually lumped into the category or successful instructors because I am not tenured and I work solely to teach.


    I believe you conflate the importance I have of your opinion. These are mere datapoints of a much broader issue - and that's the value of education relative to its cost. Feel free to agree, disagree or move on.

    I've been coming across a much larger body of articles about education - particularly law degrees for some odd reason through my RSS feeds. It's an issue that I think is worthy of discussion and those are but two datapoints and do not necessarily embody my own - just as I assume when someone else links articles they do not necessarily entirely agree with the underlying points.

    You however have chosen an ad hominem approach to considering the issue which by any measure is a logical failure. More posts will come - including hopefully ones that will come by soon that discuss what the alternative looks like including the role open sourced universities/textbooks, and organizations like khanacademy.org will play likely making a wide number of liberal arts professors obsolete - or at least limiting the value they are able to extract from paying customers for the service they offer.


    Riddler - Is it possible for you to write one post on wihch you do not come across as a pompous, condescending (and still stunningly wrong) douche bag? icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Jan 22, 2011 5:16 AM GMT
    I learned Symbolic Logic and ASL for sure. I also learned APA format. icon_cool.gif
    That link won't load so can someone look at the research methods for me?
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Jan 22, 2011 5:20 AM GMT
    Perhaps, standards of education need to be reevaluated. I had significant leaps of learning in my first two years. In fact, it tapered off after that.

    If these people are not learning, they are most likely the people who are not going to learn and do not want to learn.
  • TheIStrat

    Posts: 777

    Jan 22, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
    Threads like this make me happy I finished school