4
   

Failure is an option

 
 
Chumly
 
Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2011 11:43 pm
I've been teaching fulltime now for about four years and just had a real crash and burn. With no changes whatsoever to an electronics course I have been teaching for also about four years, 50% of the class failed. Failure means getting less than 70%.

Never seen anything like it before...spooky.
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:05 am
@Chumly,
U think u need to explain it better ?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:20 am
@Chumly,
There are several possibilities of why that has happened. Can you offer some of the reasons why this happened?
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 01:48 am
What seems to be the general consensus with the other instructors is twofold:

1) Ths six month course is for pre-apprentices and not indentured apprentices serving their four year apprenticeship. I have not taught this six month pre-apprenticeship course before, so even though it includes the same electronics material I have taught for the indentured apprentices, the type and calibre of the students is not up to the standards I am used to expecting.

2) It is near the end of their 6 month course and this can happen as they get antsy.

Notwithstanding 1) and 2), I have further concerns because the mastery requisite means no student can continue unless they pass each successive course topic with a minimum of 70%.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 01:54 am
@Chumly,
You have essentially answered your own question; they're not prepared even though they are a "pre-apprenticeship" course. It seems you need to prepare them for the sections they could not answer properly.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 02:12 am
In adult education, it is not the instructor's job to guarantee the students are prepared in advance. This is neither high school, nor a mandatory form of education, and all the students are not only adults, but present of their own free will.

I have very often reminded-asked-insisted that they read material for upcoming topics in advance, but the consensus among my peers seems to be that pre-apprenticeship students in particular will not prepare in advance, if there is no specified for-marks exam on the immediate horizon. This is a holdover from being coddled in high school. Now they are in adult education but do not understand the difference.

Also, it's not reasonable to supply for-marks exams for course topics I have not taught yet.

There is on-campus tutoring available for free almost every day, yet last I heard there was virtually no one showing up to any of the tutoring sessions.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 08:47 am
@Chumly,
If that's the case, I think it's your responsibility to know what prerequisites they have to meet your class requirements. You can't expect students to study quantitative analysis without understanding basic math concepts.

If your course material is basic, then you have a case. Otherwise, it seems your course material is too difficult for this level of students. What are their grade point average in all other subjects? That will provide a clue as to whether they are lax, lazy, or unprepared.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 10:38 am
No it's not my responsibility to know what prerequisites they have to meet for the overall course requirements. That is done by the institution I work for, well before I even start the six month course; with entrance exams and interview processes. Even more to the point prior to the electronics course there is two months of math and circuit analysis to support it.

As to how "basic" the electronics course is, that' a relative term; but suffice it to say that it's one week long and prior knowledge of electronics would not be needed to pass. It's centered around discreet analogue semiconductors such as various diodes and transistors.

Without putting too fine a point on it, you are incorrect in your assumptions as to where the responsibility lies in this instance.

What exactly is this quantitative analysis with respect to electronics you refer to ? I made no mention of such in my postings, nor do I use that term in any of my teachings.

There is no "grade point average" per se, as discussed the criteria is based on mastery @ 70% on a per subject basis.. Outside of one student who failed early on, all students are present and accounted for and have been in this six month course for five months.

May I suggest you re-read my posts as homework, and then ask further questions to formulate a merited viewpoint.
High Seas
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 10:49 am
@Chumly,
Chumly wrote:


......it's centered around discreet analogue semiconductors such as various diodes and transistors.

Without putting too fine a point on it, you are incorrect in your assumptions as to where the responsibility lies in this instance of mass failure.

Never mind anyone else's assumptions - any chance you confused students by spelling "discrete" as you did here? Tried double-checking your notes?
Chumly
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 11:04 am
@High Seas,
I do not use the term in my teachings, it used it here for descriptive purposes.

Most to the point, if you are going to assert that your claim as to one typo in an internet forum, leads you to the notion that there may be evidence of teaching incompetence, then your level of comprehension is woefully inadequate to the task of making such an assessment. It in fact tends to show your inability to understand general content.
High Seas
 
  -4  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 11:09 am
@Chumly,
"Assert a claim"? You're completely unable to read if you allege I made any assertions on your thread - that may be your real problem, and by extension your students' as well. Goodbye, stupid Smile
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 11:28 am
@Chumly,
You claimed that your students were ill prepared for your course of study, and assumed they did not study. That's the reason I asked about your student's grade point average which indicates whether they study or not - generally speaking. Quantitative analysis was only used to compare prerequisites for math as what is required as a prerequisite for your course. Nothing more, nothing less.

The only merit that I see is your inability to accept your stubborn position about what your responsibilities are as an "instructor." It's called "education," and helping students to learn what you're trying to teach.
Chumly
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 11:42 am
I did not say "assert a claim" you did.

I said "if you are going to assert that your claim as to one typo in an internet forum, leads you to the notion that there may be evidence of teaching incompetence, then your level of comprehension is woefully inadequate to the task of making such an assessment. It in fact tends to show your inability to understand general content."

There are many examples of the phrase "assert that your claim" used in printed form and on the internet. I consider it suitable for use in an internet forum. Unless or until you provide reasonable evidence to the contrary I have no reason not to consider it suitable for use in an internet forum.

"Goodbye, stupid" = a personal attack = an ad hominem, I have reported you accordingly.

Also your nitpicking as it relates to a typo of one word, and your misquoted phrase is nothing more that the logical fallacy of the red herring.
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 11:47 am
@Chumly,
get a grip, chumly...

helen comes here to try and show the world that she is smart, and everyone else is stupid. she has no social skills whatsoever...

but.

you reported her?

don't be such a weenie.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 11:57 am
@cicerone imposter,
You are suggesting to me that I am unable to accept my so-called "responsibilities" as an instructor however:

You have not defined what you believe these so-called "responsibilities" to be in the specific context at hand.

You have not provided a rationale for why you believe these are my so-called "responsibilities" in the specific context at hand to the exclusion of both the institution and the students.

Define your terms and clarify your points via rationales and we'll see how things go.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:03 pm
@Rockhead,
I appreciate the disciplines associated with logical fallacies. I find them fallacies forking fascinating! Also "Goodbye, stupid" is a personal attack not in keeping with the spirit of A2K nor the spirit of my thread.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:39 pm
@High Seas,
Let's have a little more fun before I go! Assert means to express positively. Claim means to deserve or call for; require. Thus my sentence can be rephrased to read:

"if you are going to express positively that your requirement as to one typo in an internet forum, leads you to the notion that there may be evidence of teaching incompetence, then your level of comprehension is woefully inadequate to the task of making such an assessment. It in fact tends to show your inability to understand general content."
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:41 pm
@Chumly,
I think it's prolly a good thing you aren't an English teacher...
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:43 pm
@Chumly,
Your primary responsibility is to your students; to teach them the subject matter you offer. If they are failing at high rates, you need to find out why.

If they lack the fundamentals, teach them the fundamentals. If not, send them to the class that teaches the basic requirements for your course.

That's your responsibility as a teacher.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:49 pm
I'm with Chumly on this issue. I took a similar program at a trade college a few years ago. I'd been out of school and was shaky on some of the mathematical/science concepts..
I was interviewed going in, had to write a paper on why I was taking the program and my expectations of the program and of the eventual job market I was entering. I had to meet a 70% pass as well.
I recently took another course, through a different college, and was stunned at the dumbing down of education. Every single "graduate" would have to be retrained by the company that hired them. This school had a different modus operandi, they wanted a high pass rate to sell themselves.

Teachers aren't there to hold hands, although most I've had were more than likely to help a student if they asked. It was up to the student to take that step though. It's up to the student to form study groups, or hire or befriend a tutor. College is a time to grow up. It costs time and money. The reason for the high standards at trade colleges is that industry demands it. They want qualified candidates. Do you really want an electrician to rewire your home who only understands 60% of the business?
I have no idea why so many failed, but I agree that it is weird and not a great sign. If it is a sign and not just a blip of lazy, un-motivated kids that will one day regret not trying just a wee bit harder.
0 Replies
 
 

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