Friday, October 17, 2008

Results of poll on "discussion" classes--FYI

In your opinion, are dicussion classes like the one today, have any utility?

40% (12) Yes. Let us have more of them.

60% (18) Some what. But let us not get carried away

0% (0) Mostly a vehicle to slow the class down. Nothing really learned.

30 voters have answered this question.

If you have more nuanced comments, feel free to write down (these will be anonymous)

Many of the questions were very interesting. I was really benefited from the discussion.

well i liked the way today's session went..but something was not able to pinpoint..maybe the next go would turn out better..

Helps get a general overview of the subject at hand. Definitely interesting!
Re-stating the question is usefull, as we often can't hear other people.
I would prefer shorter in-class discussions. We do already have opportunity to discuss everything in the blog. If there were hot blog discussions probably it would have sense to bring them in class.
The idea of discussions in itself seems good, but today's discussion was more like summarizing what we've been doing in the class. Most of the questions/comments were at very high level of abstraction, and not targeted on the core technical points. 
Many people felt forced to talk and spoke without having any opinion.

I feel, in future, such discussion should/could be conducted after every topic gets completed 

Discussion classes could be really fruitful if well directed and planned and used only for very important issues. I consider that they are specially useful for issues that have not been completely understood or are still kind of obscure. Probably, next time, the class could be polled to know whether a discussion is worthy an entire class session.

I did think that it was very helpful. One problem I had is that certain students were bringing up irrelevant issues that were (a) not pertinent to the discussion topic and (b) probably would be covered later in class. I think a perhaps better solution would be to interject discussion topics WITHIN lectures. So dedicate 5-10 minutes of open discussion about a lecture topic. That way we do not fall behind on the subject matter, we don't miss out on your amazing (and funny) lectures, BUT DO have the opportunity to talk about things that we do not understand.

I think the discussions are good once and a while to mix up the regular routine.
Discussions like these help put everything that we learn in class together and see the whole picture.

Too many questions, not a really discussion. Maybe it should be moderated more and there should be predefined specific topics that the discussion is about.

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