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Advice about a class I'm taking

  1. Jul 25, 2011 #1
    The class is Calc III (multivariable), and I'm taking it online this summer. It ends in about two weeks, and I have 16 1-hour lectures left to watch.

    This class is horrible. The professor simply reads out of the book then expands on these ideas. However, he is often wrong and spends 10 minutes explaining something incorrectly until a student in the class (filmed 5 years ago) corrects him. He then acts like it was no big deal. This happens nearly every lecture.

    My situation: I watched every lecture for the first test and got an 85. I watched no lectures for the second test and got an 84. I watched all lectures for the third test and got an 86. He gives very little partial credit; I make a careless mistake unrelated to the topic we're covering, and I get less than half credit for the problem at hand, even if my method is 100% correct. There is one more test before the final, and I really want to pull an A in the course.

    I cannot pay attention during the lectures as they are so ill-organized. Would it be horrible of me to just not watch any more? I've never had a class as bad as this one...

    Further, I feel like I'm on the track to getting a B. I've gotten an A in Calc I and II, which were both harder test wise. I'm minoring in math and feel this class will reflect badly on that.

    I suppose I'm just looking for a reason to continue teaching myself these last two weeks. If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it. I'm pretty bummed out over the class.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2011 #2
    That's the part that sticks out to me. My Calc 2 teacher was like that. One little mistake and you would get about 3/10 for that problem, even for flipping a negative sign. I couldn't believe it but he made it very clear that he would give better partial credit on the homework than the test. So I had to really practice the details of what I was doing to earn an A on a test.

    The tests were long and you didn't have enough time to recheck at all. So, I actually practiced timing myself on homework problems and then checking if I made any small errors over and over. It paid off in the end. Good luck.
  4. Jul 25, 2011 #3
    You need to watch MIT's lectures, they once saved me. I hope they will save your life too.
  5. Jul 25, 2011 #4
    DrummingAtom, I feel your pain..

    flyingpig, I'll try that. After looking at the titles, though, they seem to not correspond directly with what we're doing in class. Time is getting tight, but I'll give at least two a shot. Thanks.
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