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Is going to lecture a huge waste of time?

by gravenewworld
Tags: lecture, time, waste
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johng23
#91
Oct11-11, 12:04 AM
P: 292
Quote Quote by coreluccio View Post
I honestly think lectures are more for people who are too lazy to actually read the book themselves and hope for just enough of an understanding of the course material to get by with a passing mark.
This comment seemed to draw a lot of criticism, but I have absolutely experienced this. I have met multiple people who wouldn't think of reading the book chapters. I studied the chapters front to back. Reading a book by yourself requires you to think harder - those who wouldn't read it are the same people who just go to office hours to drag all the information they can out of the apathetic TA. I have been to office hours about twice in my life, and I was amazed at the sort of information the TA was just freely giving out.
Edin_Dzeko
#92
Oct11-11, 01:22 AM
P: 223
Arrogance and learning don't mix.
Choppy
#93
Oct11-11, 12:27 PM
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Quote Quote by johng23 View Post
This comment seemed to draw a lot of criticism, but I have absolutely experienced this. I have met multiple people who wouldn't think of reading the book chapters. I studied the chapters front to back. Reading a book by yourself requires you to think harder - those who wouldn't read it are the same people who just go to office hours to drag all the information they can out of the apathetic TA. I have been to office hours about twice in my life, and I was amazed at the sort of information the TA was just freely giving out.
I think you're missing the point of the criticism.

Obviously there are lazy people out there. I've met them. I've taught them (or at least tried to).

But Coreluccio's argument was that lectures are for people too lazy to read the course material - and this appears to imply that if you go to lectures, you're being lazy and not learning the material for yourself. While there will be cases where this is true, it most certainly does not apply gobally.
ashnek
#94
Oct11-11, 01:20 PM
P: 16
Well i understood Coreluccio's argument in another way, it sounded like most classes were made so that their purpose was to give the material so you wouldnt have to look it up in the book aka for lazy people, it doesnt imply that you are lazy if you go its just the way its done.
Im not saying all teachers do that, sadly most of the ones i had were like that but the bad classes i attended were pure recitation of the book
Dembadon
#95
Oct11-11, 01:37 PM
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Quote Quote by Choppy View Post
...
But Coreluccio's argument was that lectures are for people too lazy to read the course material - and this appears to imply that if you go to lectures, you're being lazy and not learning the material for yourself. ...
Not only that, but he's deduced this while only in his first year of an engineering program.
coreluccio
#96
Oct13-11, 08:29 PM
P: 30
Most students don't read the textbook. I've seen it first hand. I didn't go to a single Chem lecture and smoked the class average by 30%. I read the book, fully understood the material, did problems, and the test was a joke for me. In contrast, most of the class just went to class, attempted the problem sets from the book that the prof assigned, and maybe reviewed the lecture notes. Not everyone operates like this, but the majority seem to.
romsofia
#97
Oct13-11, 08:50 PM
P: 269
Quote Quote by coreluccio View Post
Most students don't read the textbook. I've seen it first hand. I didn't go to a single Chem lecture and smoked the class average by 30%. I read the book, fully understood the material, did problems, and the test was a joke for me. In contrast, most of the class just went to class, attempted the problem sets from the book that the prof assigned, and maybe reviewed the lecture notes. Not everyone operates like this, but the majority seem to.
Did you get 100% on this test?
If not, this test obviously wasn't a joke, and a few people who went to the lecture got equal/higher scores than you.

This discussion is clear: For some people the lecture is a waste of time, while for others it isn't.
johng23
#98
Oct13-11, 10:45 PM
P: 292
Quote Quote by coreluccio View Post
Most students don't read the textbook. I've seen it first hand. I didn't go to a single Chem lecture and smoked the class average by 30%. I read the book, fully understood the material, did problems, and the test was a joke for me. In contrast, most of the class just went to class, attempted the problem sets from the book that the prof assigned, and maybe reviewed the lecture notes. Not everyone operates like this, but the majority seem to.
What you're saying is that it's possible to do well without going to any lectures. I doubt anyone would deny that. That doesn't necessarily imply that lectures are a waste of time.
GregJ
#99
Oct14-11, 04:18 AM
P: 66
Quote Quote by coreluccio View Post
Most students don't read the textbook.
1st year hmm? This will change soon enough
coreluccio
#100
Jan7-12, 11:41 PM
P: 30
Just thought I'd update on my progress. Finished up my 1st term of engineering and now have all my grades back. I got a 3.8/4.0 GPA and was one bombed midterm (got a bad night's sleep, unfortunately) from a perfect 4.0. I didn't attend a single lecture after the first week of school. Lectures, at least for me, are a waste of time.
mathwonk
#101
Jan7-12, 11:55 PM
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please don't let me get you as a doctor (engineer, architect, lawyer...) , if you think the purpose of school is just to get decent grades. did it ever dawn on you that attending class might have taught you something valuable by listening to the carefully prepared lectures of someone who knows more than you do? If you attend school at any reasonable school at all, and do not attend every class when you are not sick, you are.... I cannot say this politely so I leave it to your imagination, but it rhymes with *****.

If you are indeed correct in your behavior, then why are you paying to attend a school where the lectures are not useful? Are you a talented student who has accepted a bribe to attend a school for imbeciles? Do you realize how you will be regarded when you exit such a school?

My apologies but obviously I regard this as one of the most clueless threads I have ever seen here.
deRham
#102
Jan8-12, 01:21 AM
P: 410
I don't think classes / lectures in general are terrible. It's probably more ideal to have someone record the lectures for the giant classes that teach an introductory subject to a bunch of students.

The major value of classes as opposed to purely individual instruction is that they present material at one time in the format and with the choice of material of someone who supposedly has a perspective you may want to hear. A perspective that really crystallizes how to think about something, which may not be immediately present in all the books.

Chances are, by looking up 10 different books and researching various notes written by various people, you can figure out a reasonably good perspective on a topic. But if an expert already is there to tell you about that stuff, why not?

It was said you can leave the school if it's not offering what you want. I ask: well, why even the school? One can leave the class. Take a different one!

Independent studying is great too. A lot of things have to be learned that way. But it simply doesn't make sense to me why a professor can't present a ton of stuff in an organized fashion in a single class that a student really wants to understand well.

There are a LOT of poor classes conducted out there, which I myself would skip if I had to take them. But that's the point -- I usually wouldn't have to take them, and indeed, I wouldn't have chosen to.
deRham
#103
Jan8-12, 01:24 AM
P: 410
Now if it happens that there are lectures with information that can't be obtained in any book, then fine I will put in the effort to listen. I expect this to happen in my graduate studies and at conferences. I won't be happy about it though...
I feel it's not even necessarily information. It's often perspective.

If a lecture is basically delivering the material of a text without much clarification or perspective that is helping, sometimes it might just be the wrong lecture for you. If I had to go through such a requirement, I'd definitely stick to the book and occasional office hours.

I also learn better by style from books or research articles or one on one conversation, but I can gain a lot from a lecture/conference by resolving to jot down the ideas and think about them by myself using ample resources later.

Also, in small lectures, particularly when a professor is lecturing to peers, it is often more like a friendly but also serious dialogue where one guy is put on the spot than anything else.
deRham
#104
Jan8-12, 01:46 AM
P: 410
I honestly think lectures are more for people who are too lazy to actually read the book themselves and hope for just enough of an understanding of the course material to get by with a passing mark.
People learn in different ways. And lots of people, if not most BOTH attend lectures and read the text.

Based on a single mid-term you've found a system that works for you. That's great. But why would you call someone lazy who learns in a different way?
I get where he's coming from, because sometimes the lectures just cover less than the book, and if they're just going through powerpoints, often it's just summarizing material. I honestly have used lectures as a way to do less work if I needed to get through a requirement that was simply not what I felt like spending time on at that time - one can often pass by learning just the lecture material, and needs to read the book for further detail.

That said, I don't agree that lectures are for the lazy primarily. What they are intended for is to be a useful thing to combine with a book, or even a stand-alone source.

In a lot of advanced classes, there is no book. You'll just have lectures by an expert.

And I can bet you those lectures go many times faster than almost any book, if not every book, you'll find on the same subject.

Don't conclude anything too soon :)
genericusrnme
#105
Jan8-12, 03:24 AM
P: 615
Most of the time for me I've already learned the material covered in lectures
That's because I spent almost 2 years studying non stop before I applied for university and I'm guessing as long as I keep up this rate of studying I should be ahead all the way..

I don't think my case is that normal however
Also, during my pre-enrollment studying I would have killed to have been able to talk to someone who knew the material I was trying to learn at times, a lot of books are very poorly written.

If I wasn't in that situation however I'd say lectures are pretty important (at least after your first year)
nickadams
#106
Jan8-12, 12:55 PM
P: 184
Guys the OP wasn't saying that lectures are bad; he was just saying that he could watch them online so he didn't need to physically attend class. And then if he needs further professor help then he can go to office hours.

What is wrong with that?
mathwonk
#107
Jan8-12, 04:01 PM
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i wish i were in a class where everyone had that attitude. then i would be the only one in lecture, and i could ask all my own questions.
nonequilibrium
#108
Jan8-12, 04:13 PM
P: 1,412
Quote Quote by mathwonk View Post
i wish i were in a class where everyone had that attitude. then i would be the only one in lecture, and i could ask all my own questions.
I'm practically in this case: almost everyone goes to class, but I'm the only who asks questions. I don't like that, actually.


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