Something that made me think yesterday.

February 18, 2007 at 2:09 am | Posted in interesting (to moose), Personal | 10 Comments

I had a midterm yesterday – intermediate Java programming.

The teacher said something that I’ve heard from many other teachers: “I doubt that anyone is going to need all of the test time to complete the test.” And of course when the time was up, over half the class still hadn’t finished. I’ve seen this happen many times.

I don’t think it’s a case of teachers overestimating their ability to teach. I think that it’s a matter of people generally underestimating how difficult it is for other to learn something that they personally are already proficient at.

BTW, it looks like next semester I’ll be taking a course that starts at 9:00am on Saturdays and then another course that starts at 9:00am on SUNDAYS!

Since all of my courses this semester have been evening courses, I’m starting to wonder if BCIT even offers courses during the day. I’m starting to suspect that they only offer courses in off hours because during the day they function as the BC ministy of silly walks.

And I had to choose between courses that take place at 9:00am on Sundays. I can’t believe that there are so many instructors who want to teach at that time.



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  1. Admittedly, I’m more than a little anti-bcit biased, however, in the program I was in (graphic design), most of the teachers held full time jobs so all of the classes were evening/weekend classes. BCIT focuses on industry professionals rather than academics as teachers so you may find that many of your profs are also working. BCIT pays enough that if you need some extra $$ it is worth it to teach, but at least in graphic design that sure didn’t warrant very good teachers. So, um, good luck at BCIT!

    (After 1 semester of a 4 semester program I dropped out and got a tuition refund because the program was That Awful)

  2. Yeah, BCIT is kinda hit and miss for teachers. In my electronics course there were a few good teachers and a bunch of horrible ones. Instrumentation I lucked out and got a great teacher all year. My last course both teachers were kinda mediocre, but oh well.

    I wish BCIT was operating as the ministry of silly walks during the day. My two years of day school there would have been so much more interesting. Alas, the do have classes during the day, but the are mostly the full time programs that are going. I think most of the part time stuff is evenings and weekends.

  3. 9am weekend courses?! That’s insane!

    A good teacher will realize that it takes a student more time to work on material that they have been doing themselves for years. The allotment of time for a test should be this: If it takes the majority of the class to finish the material in a certain amount of time, allot more than that, not the bare minimum.

  4. My dad works at BCIT and he teaches at odd hours sometimes and he also has two or three other teaching jobs. But I don’t think that he has much control over his schedule. Each semester he seems to find out like every one else.

    Maybe part of the reason they offer classes at odd times is because the majority of students now have to work part- or full-time to keep up with rising tuition and costs of supporting themselves while in school. Alo many students are older (i.e. older than the 18-23 age bracket) and have families to support.

  5. “I don’t think it’s a case of teachers overestimating their ability to teach. I think that it’s a matter of people generally underestimating how difficult it is for other to learn something that they personally are already proficient at.”

    I agree. I don’t take the same kinds of courses as you (I’m in Arts) but I have noticed that teachers sometimes seem surprised when it takes students longer to complete in-class assignments or tests than they had anticipated.

  6. I think all of your conjectures are correct.

    Also – I think engineering-focus conflicts with church aficionados. Hence – Sunday as just another day… but I could be full of it. It could just be overscheduled teachers with multiple jobs (as per other posts).

  7. ah.. welcome to the life of BCIT pt courses 🙂
    (though i had no idea that there’s classes on SUNDAYS?!!)

    Though i’m not sure if you’re in a official program or not it might be possible to take a course within the full-time schedules.. on the plus side you’ll probably be finished one course within 12 or 14 weeks max rather than the five painful months that it’ll take the rest of us..>_<

    *grr* have fun… 🙂

  8. I do think that we got a reasonable amount to time to complete the test, and the teacher did extend our time.

    I just think that it shows an aspect of human nature, that people assume that it will be as easy/difficult for others to learn something as it was for them.

    That’s why I get pissed off at the occasional idiot who throws out something like “these immigrants should be forced to learn English” as if they (the idiot) was born speaking fluent English.

  9. Waaa? full-time courses run for five months?

  10. weellll… it’s the first week of september to the last week of may..

    that’s like 9months.. 1st term is sept-dec (4mo) and 2nd term is jan-may (5mo).. let’s just say it averages out at 4.5 =)

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