11 March 2007


“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”


Interestingly enough, my lower division biology lab course is taught better than biochemistry. Why? It's all about pedagogy. Neither Lloyd (picture) nor Yin (picture) actually is devoid of knowledge, but their teaching styles differ greatly.

In a bout of criticism that may actually put me in an uncomfortable position, I'll take a stab at describing what I think are effective and ineffective teaching styles.

First, some background information. To lab (bio lab), almost everyone shows up, which is in stark contrast to last Thursday in biochem, where about.. 20% of the class showed up.* Yin casually makes her way up to the front, and starts talking, or rather, rambling, about the material. I feel sleepy, a mouthbreather in front of me fell asleep but she kept going. Lloyd invades my... space. It's difficult to describe completely, but walking up and down the aisles is unnerving and at the same time, incredibly effective.

I used to sleep in that class when the other teachers were teaching, but man, coming to Lloyd's class feels strange. I suppose that is the single most recommendation I can make to Yin.

What else? The tests. Yes. I can only regurgitate so much. After a while, stomach acid starts coming out and the process becomes painful. I can't stand memorizing like this. That's not a legitimate complaint anyway. How about the tests? Why are they so badly written? Corrections to the test! Corrections to the answer key!

Recommendations for CH369 - 54255:**
  • More pop quizzes. People will never come otherwise.
  • Please announce when homework is out (and when it is due).
  • Remote control + ambulation around the classroom, please.
  • Write the test and have a TA take it - possibly one of the better ways of discovering mistakes.
  • A shorter, more engaging test.***

On another note, I'll be changing the theme sometime. This bland, white theme was an interlude.

*: One thing I never understand is.. why do people skip class after a test? Makes no sense. Do you need a break? Really?
**: I even put the unique number. Now it's sure to be found, at possible great expense to me.
***: I'm probably the only one that wants this. Just because I get bad grades when I'm forced to memorize.

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