happytowner

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Just wondering how many schools have mandatory attendance policies across the board.....ours (LSU) doesn't generally, but there are occasional (usually very, very occasional pop quizzes worth only small fractions of our final grades) attendance checks ...we also have videos of all our classes though, so a lot of people just watch those instead.

I get the impression that attendance checks are a bigger deal at other vet schools..is this true? How do the students feel about that???? obviously i'm not talking about labs and so forth, just lecture based classes....

There's no way, knowing what I know now, I'd ever have attended a school with a mandatory attendance policy....just wondering if other people felt the same way???
 

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At Miss. State there is a strong mandatory attendance policy, and its absolute BS. They threaten you with all sorts of stuff, from "If you miss more then X classes, you go on academic probation", to "You can fail the class". But the truth is, they hardly ever take attendance, and when they do, nothing ever comes of it.

The people who break the rules, get to spend the day studying, and those who feel compelled to attend class (the vast majority), have to sit through some incredibly boring lectures; where it is hard to concentrate on anything.

There have been a few people who missed +50% of classes, and nothing ever happens... I would not have a problem with the policy if they actually enforced, but they can't/wont.

Sorry, its a sore subject for me... we are typically in class from 8 - 4/5 everyday, then go home and study for 3-4 hours; meanwhile, those who skip class can spend their time much more efficiently studying.
 

turnandburn

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^ Ouch that really sucks. MN doesn't have an attendance policy. A couple of the "easier" classes like first year animal populations (which is kind of like a veterinary careers course) and professional development have attendance policies with various annoying make up options. Core classes don't have attendance policies; we are just warned that we are responsible for any material presented in class- which never varies from the notes. I try to attend most lectures unless I feel they are a total waste of my time. There are only so many hours in a day and if I feel I can study more efficiently at home that's where I'll be :)
 

katryn

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The only thing at Tennessee (at least first semester) that seems to have any attendance policy is our Ethics class(attendance is worth 5 points, woohoo!) and Physical Diagnosis lab. We're still trying to figure out the Physical Diagnosis lab attendance thing, because it's not included in the grade on the syllabus, but *shrug* maybe it's a grade booster for people on the edge of a grade. Everything else is just a "know the material" kind of thing.
 

elefante7

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Here we only have attendance in a few low credit hour classes where the grade is attendance based (ethics is one of them). Other than that, attendance is strongly recommended, but there are no consequences for not coming. A professor can choose to do pop quizzes (one prof does), and this does make it so a few more people come to his class.
 

lei325

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No mandatory classes here. We have mostly everything recorded, minus glitches with the audio every so often, so those that miss class can keep up. I've taken advantage recently only because I've been ill with pretty much everything under the sun lately (yay antibiotics, finally), so it's been nice to be able to rest and not worry about missing something important. Plus, I think when sick, classmates are generally happy that you don't go in, cough, and spread your sickness everywhere. :D
 

bunnity

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Penn's labs are mandatory and if they notice people not coming they start taking attendance. But lectures are recorded and optional.
 

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We're still trying to figure out the Physical Diagnosis lab attendance thing, because it's not included in the grade on the syllabus, but *shrug* maybe it's a grade booster for people on the edge of a grade. Everything else is just a "know the material" kind of thing.
I think it's more of "if you don't attend enough, we will fail you" rather than points that get deducted.
 

katryn

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I think it's more of "if you don't attend enough, we will fail you" rather than points that get deducted.
Figured it was something along those lines.
 

MSUspartan

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michigan state is pretty lenient about attendance. all of our lectures are recorded and posted online, except for the very rare occasion when the audio messes up. even when that happens, they post the old lecture files from the past 5 years, so you can go back and listen to last year's lecture (and usually the lectures don't change much if at all).
the only class that requires attendance this semester is ethics. the prof is a little bit anal and takes attendance in every session...42% of your grade is attendance. other than that though, labs are mostly mandatory...but there's little consequence for skipping. we sometimes have pop quizzes in histology lab (maybe once every 3 weeks or so) and they're only worth about 5 points or so, so nothing major. there's no real consequence for skipping anatomy lab, other than having your group pissed at you and being behind in terms of dissection.
i'm really glad our attendance at lectures isn't mandatory. i'm NOT a morning person and i rarely go to lecture. when i do go, i spend the whole time on facebook/textsfromlastnight/sdn. on the other hand, when i study on my own time, i'm focused and ready to learn (usually around 6pm into the middle of the night or so). ironically, my grades have increased DRAMATICALLY since i stopped going to lecture. not sure if it's because i'm studying more efficiently, or because i'm less tired at night from not having to get up at 7AM for class, but regardless...i'm doing much much better in all of my classes now than i was when i went to lecture all day every day.
 

racccjlm

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Contract program with Iowa: We're pretty much mandatory. In some classes our professors reserve the right to drop you a letter grade, etc. if you don't show up enough. Other professors could care less - but those tend to be the classes I would never skip anyway. They use their notes as guidelines and give way more information than what's included in the power points.
 

sumstorm

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We have across the board mandatory attendance.

So far, no pop quizes or random attendance (but I think that will change, we now have 'clickers' that can be used to 'check' attendance on questions inside a ppt lecture.)

some classes (generally pass/fail) do have sign in sheets, and pass = 100% attendance unless excused absence.

Some folks skip everything. the big consequence for us are killer exams. too many people skip = killer exams. and all our classes specify that questions can come from lectures, readings, texts, etc. So a killer test is completly possible. This 'solution' bothers me more than pop quizes, because it is punitive to those who are attending. I am horrible at sitting through lectures, so it just frustrates me more, and is negatively impacting my grades and my education.
 
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Mandatory attendance is ridiculous to me. We're adults. Period. If we do better studying the material outside of class, we should be able to do that as opposed to sitting through hours of professors reading PowerPoints to us (I can read, thanks...). VMRCVM was not mandatory, and I skipped quite a bit. But I performed perfectly well in tests and quizzes and passed boards with ease. Mandatory attendance is for high school, not professional school.
 
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i'm NOT a morning person and i rarely go to lecture. when i do go, i spend the whole time on facebook/textsfromlastnight/sdn. on the other hand, when i study on my own time, i'm focused and ready to learn (usually around 6pm into the middle of the night or so). ironically, my grades have increased DRAMATICALLY since i stopped going to lecture. not sure if it's because i'm studying more efficiently, or because i'm less tired at night from not having to get up at 7AM for class, but regardless...i'm doing much much better in all of my classes now than i was when i went to lecture all day every day.
^^ THIS. My experience exactly. We should not all be forced to learn the same way. Some people will become better, more knowledgeable doctors through self-directed study as opposed to sitting in a dark room for hours and hours. Another failure of the American educational system :rolleyes:
 

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Our vet school LOVES to point out the fact that we (MissSU) practices “Evidence Based Medicine”, however our mandatory attendance policy is proof that the administration just doesn’t get it. A few years ago a bunch of med. schools did a study that showed students who were allowed to study their way, on their own time, did much better on their UMSLE STEP 1 exam over schools the required attendance. What did they do? Well, across the board they dropped the mandatory attendance for their classes (I don’t have the study, my fiancé is in med. school, she told me about it). I may try to get my hands on it.

However, MSU refuses to put their money where their mouth is concerning our “Evidence Based Medicine” and just pushes their own dogma on us… oh well, I have a mandatory class to get back to. See you all in a few hours.
 

Allthingsequine

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Our attendance policy only applies to exams. The exam schedule is posted at the beginning of the semester, and exams can only be rescheduled for attendance at certain school-sponsored events such as SCAVMA symposium and research presentations. Otherwise you have to go in front of an attendance committee and petition to reschedule the exam, which must be done 6 weeks in advance.
There's no specific attendance policy for classes and lectures, though we do use clickers in anatomy so attendance is taken with them. Attendance has also been taken a few times in our animal handling class, though I'm not sure what the consequences are for being absent especially since we are on a pass/fail grading system.
Unfortunately, our lectures aren't video taped or recorded (the issue has been raised and faculty have been resistant to the idea), so I try to attend class as much as possible.
 

Nechochwen

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OP, are your professors good about recording the lectures, or did your class have to ask?

None of our classes have been recorded, so I'm curious.
 
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Nechochwen,

I'm not the OP (obviously), but I also go to LSU, so here goes:

Our class elected basically an I.T. guy that fixes the professor's mic when it's crackling or explains how to use the laser pointer thing. Same guy is in charge of asking each professor for their permission to have "class capture" (recording). For the professors that allow it (and some do not), this classmate sets up the recording program before the lecture starts and shuts it off at the end of class. The professors won't do it for you.

I've never actually gone and watched a class capture, but I'm pretty sure the link for it was sent out in an email to my class sometime last year.

If y'all want to set it up for your class, either ask an upperclassmen that's more knowledgeable about it than me (sorry!) or one of the professors might know more about it. I'm not entirely sure, but I think anatomy was one of the classes we got recorded, so you may be able to ask one of the anatomy professors about it.
 

HandD42

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ISU here, at least for fall VM1 there is no mandatory attendance and we have yet to have a pop quiz. We do have in labs, class tests and quizzes that must be taken on a specific day.

Despite this policy I would say over a majority of students still attend all lectures.
 

quantized

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We were told the mandatory attendance has something to do with the AVMA accreditation. We have to check in to all labs with our cards and the lectures are supposed to be mandatory, but they don't take attendance on those so some people show up more than others. Everyone seems to do fine.
 

Braki

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Does it really have anything to do with accreditation? I wonder if they just say that to justify it to students. I only wonder because WCVM was just evaluated a couple months ago. There is no mandatory attendance policy for lectures, although it's mandatory for a couple of labs. There are no pop quizzes. The comments the school got from the accreditation team was that they thought our school was wonderful, top 10 in North America (not that there's a huge number), etc.

Like HandD42 said though, the vast majority of students attend lecture anyway. We don't have textbooks for most of our courses, and the professors will usually say things that aren't in the notes, or will spend time clarifying a difficult concept from the notes and are generally pretty useful in teaching us the material and making sure we understand it.
 

Nechochwen

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DefyGravity,

Thanks, I'll let our IT guy know.

I think something got lost in translation and we didn't realize that he would need to request it each class (more of a Mr. Fix-It if they elected to use it).

We had a few captures for the Intro to PBL, so it's setup, we just need to use it.

I'm curious about who you are; I think I know.

Well, good luck next week.:luck:
 
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NittanyKitty

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I'll just reiterate what Sumstorm says. During orientation, the fear of God was placed in us regarding our attendance - absolutely mandatory, no exceptions, serious repercussions, etc.

Eh.

Some classes - the pass/fail ones - have 100% mandatory attendance. Labs, since you're working in groups, are also definitely required without prior excusal. Our lectures? Some profs have stated they don't really care if we go (anatomy, but that's one you don't want to miss) while others have required attendance listed in the syllabus (physiology, which was frequently 1/3+ empty at 8:00 am). Our class has been pretty good about keeping most of the seats filled, but there haven't really been any big consequences that we've seen for not going to class. Lectures are audio-taped, but that seems to be hit-or-miss as far as the system actually working.

It seems that most people come to class to respect the attendance policy but may be working or studying other things rather than listening. At that point, I am reminded once again why I hate mandatory attendance policies for a group of adults who are paying enormous amounts for the privilege of being enrolled in a class. I KNOW I would have gotten more out of my own time studying bacteriology, for instance, that sitting in lecture. But I was still in that seat all the same because I was already in the building and we were supposed to be present. *sigh*
 

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I am amazed that here at Penn, even though attendance is mostly optional, that most people still show up at lectures (except when another class is close to an exam).

I just don't get the point of showing up and browsing facebook, or shopping, or playing games, or updating SDN or whatever else people are doing. There are a lot of people just showing up to make themselves feel like they have done something.

The other funny thing is you can definitely know how far back in the classroom you are by the amount of ancillary activity going on. Front rows. All paying attention. Back rows, no one paying attention. Middle rows, paying attention sometimes etc.

So even if attendance were made optional it might not make as much difference as you would expect.
 

bunnity

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I am amazed that here at Penn, even though attendance is mostly optional, that most people still show up at lectures (except when another class is close to an exam).

I just don't get the point of showing up and browsing facebook, or shopping, or playing games, or updating SDN or whatever else people are doing. There are a lot of people just showing up to make themselves feel like they have done something.

The other funny thing is you can definitely know how far back in the classroom you are by the amount of ancillary activity going on. Front rows. All paying attention. Back rows, no one paying attention. Middle rows, paying attention sometimes etc.

So even if attendance were made optional it might not make as much difference as you would expect.
I know. I am a back row dweller and therefore can see how many people are on facebook, watching videos of horses, shopping, sleeping, playing video games... seriously if I need a break and want to do those things I just stay at home where I can do them from my bed. What's the point of going to class if you're not paying attention?

I will say though that "my" section of the very back row (me BlacKat and assorted friends) is definitely paying attention.
 

BlacKAT33

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I will say though that "my" section of the very back row (me BlacKat and assorted friends) is definitely paying attention.
:thumbup: if i'm not paying attention to the current lecture then i'm usually multi-tasking and studying for another class at the same time lol

i found though that when i sat in the front, i would doze in and out of sleep so much EVEN WHILE TYPING NOTES! i never remembered anything from lecture.

In the back, the availability to just surf a little or click around in my comp notes, etc. helps me stay awake. ive never fallen asleep in the back. I also think that by not taking as many notes and listening...it helps me when i need to cram for the exam because i can recall the info that i learned.

but yes-i will agree most people in the back are shopping, especially girls shopping for boots lol
 

sumstorm

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Our class has been pretty good about keeping most of the seats filled, but there haven't really been any big consequences that we've seen for not going to class. Lectures are audio-taped, but that seems to be hit-or-miss as far as the system actually working.

I KNOW I would have gotten more out of my own time studying bacteriology, for instance, that sitting in lecture. But I was still in that seat all the same because I was already in the building and we were supposed to be present. *sigh*
The class ahead of ours and our class has been burned a couple of times due to lack of attendance. And in those cases, it was just a couple of specific days. I bet half our class isn't focused on the lectures.

I think a lot of students go to class even if it isn't required because it is more inconvenient to go elsewhere (our library has limited quiet space) but I'm with you. Let me act like the adult I am. Right now, I am sitting in a selective where nearly 10% of the class is knitting or working on crafts. And now, a political argument about taxation of citizens is breaking out between professors. Great.
 

Armymutt25A

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This sounds much better than most of my days.
 

Braki

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I feel like it's completely different here. For a lot of our classes, you have to go and pay attention to learn anything. We only have textbooks for anatomy and histology, but even then, sometimes the prof will say something that's not in the textbook.

Anatomy: our notes are mostly pictures with some words, so you have to pay attention to know what he's talking about
GI Physiology: this prof is... he's a good guy, but not a really good teacher, and his notes are... photocopies of typewritten notes along with a lot of pictures that may or may not make sense. You have to go to lecture, and even if you do you might still not understand what's happening.
Cardio Physiology: Notes are pretty complete, but he takes the time to explain difficult concepts so the notes may not all make sense on their own
Nutrition: Notes are pretty complete, but there are a lot of terms that he'll clarify during lecture
Respiratory Physiology: Notes consist of headings, pictures, and diagrams. Will not make sense without lecture to fill in the pages.
Histology: can probably do pretty well with the lecture handouts and textbook, but there are things that are lecture only.
Biochemistry: A lot of things mentioned only in lecture that aren't in his notes, like when he explains diagrams. He does put everything up on podcast afterwards though.
Embryology: Same prof as respiratory phys, so same sort of notes. Headings and pictures only.

If you miss lecture, or go to lecture and don't pay attention, you won't know what's going on because you won't know what's been covered and what can be found in a textbook and what can't. Also, we have an Honour Code committee so when people are playing games, etc. people can complain to them and they'll tell the person to stop.
 

NittanyKitty

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Right now, I am sitting in a selective where nearly 10% of the class is knitting or working on crafts. And now, a political argument about taxation of citizens is breaking out between professors. Great.
Haha, I'm in that one too! Let's just say that during some of these talks, the PDFs of Stephen King and Harry Potter I have on my computer are seeing some screen time.
 

StartingoverVet

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Maybe slightly off-topic but I have a theory about handouts.. and I am starting to think instructors should get rid of them...

It seems to me that the more detailed the handout, the less useful the lecture, and the more nitpicky the exam becomes. They end up testing you on relatively unimportant minutiae to make sure you have to study.

When the handout has less information, you have to actually pay attention to learn, and then they test you more on the important concepts.

I had always thought handouts/powerpoints were great so you didn't have to take as many notes, but now I find I would rather have a good teacher and learn the important stuff.
 
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Lectures aren't mandatory and there's no pop quizzes or anything. Our grades are made solely of 1 set of exams at the end of the module, similar to only having finals as a form of assessment. Labs, however, are mandatory. You must attend at least 75% of them (there are sign in sheets for each lab). Any less than 75% and you can't sit your module exams, which means you fail (0% for the entire module).
 

luplodw

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I know that my class has a huge problem with people not showing up to class in the mornings when we have a big exam later on in the day. One day we had less than 50% of the class there. After this problem became apparent, the administration started coming in and taking attendance every so often
 

MSUspartan

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We have that problem too, but our exams are usually first thing in the morning to curb that. The only time they're not is anatomy and histology practicals...that's usually when people skip.


I know that my class has a huge problem with people not showing up to class in the mornings when we have a big exam later on in the day. One day we had less than 50% of the class there. After this problem became apparent, the administration started coming in and taking attendance every so often
 
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Question for y'all then. Aren't the lecture classes interactive between the professor/students typically? I personally like showing up in class usually vs. just reading the book or whathaveyou since it's my chance to say "What the hell are you talking about?" Or is such interaction discouraged?
 

HandD42

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Question for y'all then. Aren't the lecture classes interactive between the professor/students typically? I personally like showing up in class usually vs. just reading the book or whathaveyou since it's my chance to say "What the hell are you talking about?" Or is such interaction discouraged?
Well it definitely isn't discouraged but the amount of material, the pace and the size of the class does not make it super conducive to asking a lot of questions. I know a lot of the times I raise my hand but because I sit in the back the professor does not always look up and so just blazes ahead.

I think for really in depth questions it is usually best to email or visit the prof during office hours.
 

bunnity

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You can ask questions in class or right after class.
However, in a class of 125 when you're going through 60 slides in 50 minutes... it's usually THAT PERSON asking 10 questions while everyone else rolls their eyes :rolleyes:
 

BlacKAT33

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You can ask questions in class or right after class.
However, in a class of 125 when you're going through 60 slides in 50 minutes... it's usually THAT PERSON asking 10 questions while everyone else rolls their eyes :rolleyes:
:laugh: or 89 slides in 50 min!!!!!!! wtfff lol

ps-cant wait to see u! hope u had a nice break!
 

bunnity

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haha don't remind me about that.
Can't wait to see you too! And I sure as hell won't miss histo but I'll miss being your partner!
 

MSUspartan

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You can ask questions in class or right after class.
However, in a class of 125 when you're going through 60 slides in 50 minutes... it's usually THAT PERSON asking 10 questions while everyone else rolls their eyes :rolleyes:
THIS. haha...we have a THAT PERSON for sure.
 

sumstorm

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well, we have just hit a class where pop quizes do occur. If I read the syllabus correctly, the quiz will be at the end of the lecture and cover material in the lecture. I am horrible at picking up info in lecture; just way too distracted....so even if I show up, do my best, take extensive notes....if we have a pop quiz, I will probably do poorly.
 

BlacKAT33

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well, we have just hit a class where pop quizes do occur. If I read the syllabus correctly, the quiz will be at the end of the lecture and cover material in the lecture. I am horrible at picking up info in lecture; just way too distracted....so even if I show up, do my best, take extensive notes....if we have a pop quiz, I will probably do poorly.
whattttt?! that is ridiculous! people learn from diff styles and to not let you guys go back over the lecture at home before the quiz is crazy. i mean, why can't do they a pop quiz at the beginning of each lecture on the previous days lecture?? man, i would have thought that at this point in our lives pop quizzes were over with. i'm srryy sumstorm!!
 

NittanyKitty

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well, we have just hit a class where pop quizes do occur. If I read the syllabus correctly, the quiz will be at the end of the lecture and cover material in the lecture. I am horrible at picking up info in lecture; just way too distracted....so even if I show up, do my best, take extensive notes....if we have a pop quiz, I will probably do poorly.
I doooon't like this. What's the class I have to look forward to next year?
 
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Maybe slightly off-topic but I have a theory about handouts.. and I am starting to think instructors should get rid of them...

It seems to me that the more detailed the handout, the less useful the lecture, and the more nitpicky the exam becomes. They end up testing you on relatively unimportant minutiae to make sure you have to study.

When the handout has less information, you have to actually pay attention to learn, and then they test you more on the important concepts.

I had always thought handouts/powerpoints were great so you didn't have to take as many notes, but now I find I would rather have a good teacher and learn the important stuff.
I totally hear you -- this goes with my theory that nobody really learns anything in school -- this is maybe unrelated, but i've always thought that the problem is that they need to rank us and give us grades and almost every vet student is intelligent and motivated, so the exams get more and more absurd while the professors try and find some way of separating us out from each other with more and more odd, irrelevant, or uber detail questions until we are forced to memorize such a massive amount of detailed information that we will no doubt forget while we neglect key concepts, paradigms, etc that will tie everything together....sometimes I really wish there was one book, or website, with 'everything you really need to learn in vet school' and then I could just go and teach myself. It would be a lot more efficient than listening to some professor ramble on while listening for cues for test questions when I would rather be really thinking about the material, which is, after all, mostly inherently interesting....competition kills...i know i sound like a hippie but it's so ridiculous...why do they need to rank/grade us and pit us against a gpa and each other? What good can come of that kind of culture? Isn't there a better way?

Anyway...thanks for the replies from everyone....for those that have lectures recorded, what platform do you use??? We have Panopto. Which has pros and con...the pros are that it enables you to watch the professor walking around and talking AND the ppt at the same time in side by side windows. And you can double time the lecture for slow speakers. The con *and this is a doozy* is that it is incompatible with ipods and iphones because it requires either microsoft silverlight or windows media player, so all you get are pictureless podcasts on your device....

So is this panopto thing universal???? Are there better platforms out there???
 

MSUspartan

Michigan State c/o 2014!
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2009
175
45
Status
Veterinary Student
Anyway...thanks for the replies from everyone....for those that have lectures recorded, what platform do you use??? We have Panopto. Which has pros and con...the pros are that it enables you to watch the professor walking around and talking AND the ppt at the same time in side by side windows. And you can double time the lecture for slow speakers. The con *and this is a doozy* is that it is incompatible with ipods and iphones because it requires either microsoft silverlight or windows media player, so all you get are pictureless podcasts on your device....

So is this panopto thing universal???? Are there better platforms out there???
We use Camtasia...it's nice because you get the powerpoint screen as the visual so anything the professor writes on the powerpoint (ie, drawing a picture or underlining stuff, etc) can been seen on the recordings. ours get posted as Mp4 files so they're compatible with iPods etc...most people watch them in VLC media player and they're super easy to speed up or slow down if necessary.

as an aside, we now have several classes that essentially 'require' attendance. our business class gives basically 'participation' points for every day you're there (we have computers built-in to our desks in the lecture hall, and when you log in, a screen comes up and you push submit to get your points for the day). also in anatomy (both lab and lecture) we have clicker questions that aren't graded on correctness, just whether or not you answered.
kind of a pain because i learn much better at home, and these mandatory attendance classes are generally smack dab in the middle of the rest of our lectures...
 

BlacKAT33

UPenn c/o 2014!! :)
Jul 1, 2009
2,381
4
Status
Veterinary Student
In response to happytowner from SOV's post:

SOV-what do you think about this semester though? I know we've only had one exam but I thought our physio class was amazing. i really feel like im learning. I spent no time memorizing words, transcription factors or random facts. It was all just kind of common sense once you understood the concepts.

I hope the rest of our exams are like this!!! i feel like im LEARNING!!!!!1 yayyyy
 

Chaco

10+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2008
34
0
Status
Veterinary Student
We have a "mandatory" attendance policy, people just ignore it. Lectures are podcasted, very few classes have pop quizzes, and Tahoe is close enough that people are constantly skipping class for snow time.

It gets kind of sad when only a couple dozen people show up to a lecture--I feel bad for the professors.