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Professor doesn't give out lecture notes...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Lunasly, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Lunasly

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    How do you guys go about studying for courses in which the professor does not give out lecture notes? I'm taking a 400 level biology course this semester and the professor does not allow us to use a computer to type up the notes either. This is an information-intensive course and I am extremely slow at writing.

    Any advice for those of you who have been in this situation?
     
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  3. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    What the heck is wrong with him/her?!
     
  4. screamingoutlet

    screamingoutlet A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
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    Ask if you can record lecture audio via your phone/tape recorder?
     
  5. Lunasly

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    I don't think they allow recording of the lecture, but I might go ahead and do it anyway. He claims that recent studies have shown that students who are not provided with lecture notes and are forced to write them down (as opposed to typing) tend to do better than students who are provided lectures notes and/or use the computer to type/annotate notes.
     
  6. IslandStyle808

    IslandStyle808 Akuma residency or bust!
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    Please don't tell me this prof uses the projector and chalkboard when lecturing? You know the old school type...
     
  7. Lunasly

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    No they use PowerPoint. They just don't want to provide the Powerpoint slides. Each slide has a wall of text. FML...
     
  8. WillburCobb

    WillburCobb I am the pull out king
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    Probably half of my profs did this in undergrad and I went to a fairly large school. There's also a fair amount of evidence backing your profs claims that students learn better this way. If it's really that hard to keep up just take messy notes and reorganize them later; It's a decent way to study as well.
     
  9. Lunasly

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    Would you recommend that I record the lecture?
     
  10. IslandStyle808

    IslandStyle808 Akuma residency or bust!
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    Does the professor put up the slides after class? If he doesn't WTF.
     
  11. Lunasly

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    Nope, no lecture slides are provided at all.
     
  12. IslandStyle808

    IslandStyle808 Akuma residency or bust!
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    Not usually a good idea. If you could use your computer, I would actually recommend you try the program PearNote.

    EDIT: Sorry to hear about the slides.
     
  13. Goro

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    That's insane! Complain to the Dep't Chair ASAP!

     
  14. Lunasly

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    He has been doing this for a few years apparently so I doubt my complaint will do anything.
     
  15. blackroses

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    I've never had an instructor provide lecture notes before. I didn't even know that was a thing before I stumbled on this forum. It seems very weird to me to not just rely on your notes from the class and the textbook.
     
  16. WillburCobb

    WillburCobb I am the pull out king
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    Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. There's a few profs at my med school who don't even provide notes or record lectures.
     
  17. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist
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    There are professors out there who hold students responsible for material covered in the slides but then skips through slides incredibly fast that it's impossible to keep up.
     
  18. blackroses

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    Most of my instructors have done that. I guess I just never realized that most provide resources outside of the textbook. I've never had instructors who record lectures or provide their notes. I've had a couple put their slides online to be viewed, but that would definitely be the exception.
     
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  19. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist
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    Then it would be unreasonable for them to expect you to be responsible for details that you would, otherwise, have no way of knowing. I've had professors use their personal life as test questions and we would only be able to answer those if we were able to catch it on the slide before it flipped on to the next or if they gave us the lecture notes.
     
  20. Lunasly

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    Maybe I should approach the instructor and ask if he'd be willing to change his mind. Despite the research backing up his claims, I would feel more comfortable having the lecture slides and annotating them. The downside is that if he rejects my concern then there exists a bad tension between us.
     
  21. bumpbumped

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    My solution would be to start a study group with the kid who's good at taking notes.
     
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  22. GoZagsMD

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    Yeah I usually just record the lecture. I just lay out my iphone on my desk with the mic pointing toward him it works perfectly. My professor actually asked if I was recording him and asked me if I could stop and I just told him no and that it really helps me out. I'm not sure if they can really doing anything about that thats completely non-obstructing especially if you're trying your hardest to best your grade. Otherwise I would talk to the dean
     
  23. IslandStyle808

    IslandStyle808 Akuma residency or bust!
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    If you're in a class of 300+ I don't think he will remember you... Unless you email him.


     
    #22 IslandStyle808, Sep 3, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
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  24. MrLogan13

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    You don't have to write everything down. Take notes on the highlights and things that are important. If you're trying to transcribe the lecture or write everything on the slides, not only will you not keep up, you're not going to be able to pick up on cues that something is important.
     
  25. hoihaie

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    just record the lecture with your phone or buy a small recorder pen
     
  26. Kochanie

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    Study before class so you know what he's talking about in class and just deepen your knowledge instead of trying to learn it all then and there (and less notes).
     
  27. Being

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    I would definitely audio record the lectures at the very least.

    I would also read/flashcard the book and try to get a good handle on the material before lecture. That way you can focus on the nuance and minutiae the teacher talks about in lecture and not waste time writing down or thinking about the basics which you already know.
     
  28. blackroses

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    There's not much I can tell you beyond the fact that this is the way that my professors have approached their classes. They certainly do expect us to be responsible for knowledge from the lectures, whether or not they provide notes, recordings, or slides.

    I'm getting kind of jealous here. Maybe I should transfer!
     
  29. Theseus

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    I'm surprised that there are surprised people here. Man, half of my professors expected us to read the books before we came to lecture and would provide nothing. Of course, it also depends on University. If "le olde" method was not used at some institution, I guess then it would be surprising.
     
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  30. IslandStyle808

    IslandStyle808 Akuma residency or bust!
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    I still remember my professor in o-chem using the projector for her o-chem lectures. Had to be speedy-gonzalas in order to take notes. I have to admit she was a phenomenal professor and the o-chem text book she published was excellent. So I did not have too much problems with her class.
     
    #29 IslandStyle808, Sep 3, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  31. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist
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    I have no problem with professors expecting students to go above and beyond in terms of studying or knowing the material. That should be expected of all high achieving students.

    What I DO have a problem with is when professors expect you to know certain details that WILL be tested but you have NO WAY in getting the information unless you read her mind or were able to take notes at the speed of light, since they don't give you any way to get that information later on. AKA the information is not available anywhere on the internet or the textbooks and you're just expected to know it because it was on the slides.
     
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  32. Theseus

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    Yeah, that's what most of my classes were like. Except I also had one old professor in EM Physics who would not give out anything and just face the blackboard (blackboard for God's sake!) with his endless collection of white chalks and just talk to the board. On occasion he would turn around and that is to crack some joke that was used back in his own century. But he cared for his students and was like our own grandpa.
     
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  33. Theseus

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    Yep, had that happened twice. It was a pretty miserable time and despite our complaints to the department, nothing changed.
     
  34. IslandStyle808

    IslandStyle808 Akuma residency or bust!
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    Agreed

    Most departments don't do jack when students complain about things like this. They want to maintain the status quo as much as possible.
     
  35. dorschmix

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    They just don't want to provide the Powerpoint slides.[​IMG]
     
  36. medicalmnt

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    the positive is that you know EXACTLY whats going to be on the exam. I prefer profs who assign us a textbook for additional support and verbal from his own notes than ones who read off the powerpoint only finishing 40/90 slides per chapter.

    Form a study group with someone who takes really good notes and begin there.. these exams/papers tend to be almost 100times easier imo.

    ex, i took a hist course where no sides were given and it was 100% oral lecture with no electronics. take good notes, everything he says is now your interpretation because he makes the exams directly from lectures.
     
  37. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    Students learn differently. It is our job to be the greatest possible resource to as many of them as feasible.
     
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  38. Lunasly

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    I can't read the entire chapter before class. It would be a huge waste of time given that he doesn't cover all of the material. I would be more than happy to review the slides beforehand and be able to annotate them during lecture.
     
    #37 Lunasly, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  39. Lunasly

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    I was thinking of sending the following e-mail to my professor with the hopes that they will reconsider their position. Does it sound professional and kind? I don't want to come off as a demanding prick. In the kindest way possible, I want to express that I don't think their methodology will work for me. As you said, everyone learns differently and I am not prepared to make such a drastic change to my study habits.

    Here is the e-mail. Any constructive criticism is appreciated. I don't want to them to feel as if I created any tension between us.


    ----
    Hello Dr. ...,

    My name is ... and I am currently registered for your ... class. I am very excited to take the course, but I have one concern I was hoping I could discuss with you that relates to my performance in this course. You mentioned on the first day of class that you would not be providing lecture notes.

    A study habit that I've had a lot of success with has been to review the lecture slides prior to attending class and annotating them during the lecture. This has allowed me to stay more attentive as opposed to scrambling to write everything down. Given that the information in this course can become very detailed, I feel that reviewing the lecture notes beforehand would be immensly helpful. I understand that we don't have to write down every single detail, but I have to admit that I am not quick enough to determine what information is and isn't important.

    I have only taken one other course in which lecture slides were not made available and I found it very difficult to keep up. What I'm ultimately trying to say is that I am prepared to work hard to succeed in this course. However, I am not prepared to make such a drastic change to my study habits and, given my past experience, I feel that not providing lecture notes may hinder my performance in the course. I hope you will reconsider your position and allow me to study using methods that I am most confortable with.

    Thank you and I appreciate your time,
    ...
    ----
     
    #38 Lunasly, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  40. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    If he has adapted to his restrictions and acquired validation over time, your chance of success is small, sadly.
     
    #39 gyngyn, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  41. Lunasly

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    That's a fair point. In which case, are you implying that I should not send the e-mail as it more do more harm than good? I go to a very small school. My class size is 36 people. The other section has 24 people. Therefore we really get to know the professor over the course of the semester.
     
  42. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    It will depend on the learning environment in your school. I'm not feeling a student-centered approach from what you have indicated. If he has tenure, even the administration won't have the political capital for a conflict. You can still register an anonymous complaint and get your like-minded friends to do the same.
     
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  43. blackroses

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    If you decide to send that message, I would very highly recommend modifying this particular phrase:

    It really comes across as "how dare you ask me to change what I'm doing for your class!" Whether you like it or not, it sounds like his mind is already made up. If you want the best possible chance at changing his mind, don't draw a line in the sand and expect him to come over to you. Regardless of how you feel, include something along the lines of "If you are unwilling to provide the slides before class, can we meet to discuss ways to approach studying without the slides or lecture notes so that I can be as successful as possible in your class?"
     
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  44. Lunasly

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    Thanks for the advice, guys. Perhaps I should meet with him in person as opposed to sending him an e-mail.
     
  45. Goro

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    This sounds like a really good idea. As him for suggestions as what will best help with your learning style.

     
  46. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero
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    Wow, I came in here expecting OP to get reamed. The responses were...surprising.

    Read the textbook, listen in class, and do the work. You'll be fine. Years of students have gotten through his course, years more will do so...and your classmates have the same difficulty.

    Then again, I am NOT a note-taker. I have never taken notes in any class I've been in. I find that when I do so, I spend more time focusing on making the notes than on thinking through the material, and my understanding suffers greatly. Classes where I took notes I tended to retain about as much as classes where I nodded in and out of sleep the whole time.

    Trust yourself to pick it up on the first pass. You may be surprised at how much extra time you have to grapple with the material when you aren't focused on writing all of that crap down. You don't need to go over it in great depth later if you find a way to think through it in depth during lecture. And if you actively focus during lecture, you will be able to supplement just fine with textbooks and internet research and whatever else you need after the fact.

    And of course, yes, talk to him in person. Sounds like that may be a bit more difficult given the large number of students in this class, but he should still be amenable to approaches, no?
     

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