Should there be daily graded HW in Med School?

  • Yes, it's OK.

    Votes: 20 9.7%
  • No, never!

    Votes: 186 90.3%

  • Total voters
    206

g8orlife

chomp
10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2009
885
30
A quagmire
Status
Resident [Any Field]
So my school has changed their curriculum due to LCME guidelines which require less lecture-based learning and more small-group learning.

So, my classmates and I have lectures only 2-4 hours daily followed by either PBL or Team-Based Learning(TBL) small-group exercises. The PBLs are great, but the TBLs are basically daily graded homework assignments. It's only been one wek, but they're already annoying because they take away from lecture-note studying time.

The upper classmen had it last year and they all hated it. I'm part of my Curriculum Committee and am trying to come up with an alternative or a way to tweak it. Any ideas?
 
About the Ads

DoctwoB

10+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2010
1,858
1,253
Status
Attending Physician
We also have TBLs with quizzes (thankfully very few of them)and you have to prepare presentations for PBL (only graded for participation). There's been some writing assignments for things like behavioral med or ethics.
 

g8orlife

chomp
10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2009
885
30
A quagmire
Status
Resident [Any Field]
We also have TBLs with quizzes (thankfully very few of them)and you have to prepare presentations for PBL (only graded for participation). There's been some writing assignments for things like behavioral med or ethics.
Yeah, one solution I'm considering is proposing that instead of daily graded assignments, we be graded only on quizzes based on the TBLs ... which is what your TBL sounds like.

That sounds awful. Seriously, I haven't had daily homework since grade school. I cant even imagine having that, so sorry.
Yeah, me neither. I like the group work, but I feel like I'm killing myself being fully prepared for the TBL presentations/assignments. I feel like they don't trust that we can learn on our own...:shrug:
 

g8orlife

chomp
10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2009
885
30
A quagmire
Status
Resident [Any Field]
BTW, this is the structure of our TBLs:

-Basically, the class is split into large TBL groups of 20, then further split up into small groups of 5. The 5 of us work on a list of questions and present the answers to the rest of the TBL group of 20. The evaluator randomly chooses one person from each group(of 5) to present, that one person speaks for the group(of 5), and the group(of 5) is graded based on that one person's presentation.
-Thus, it requires us to be sure that each member understands how the answers were derived in order to ensure the best grade for the group. Holds each person accountable.

I don't mind the concept ... it's just that we have 1-3 of these daily.:confused:
 

hot sauce

7+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2010
303
11
Status
Attending Physician
BTW, this is the structure of our TBLs:

-Basically, the class is split into large TBL groups of 20, then further split up into small groups of 5. The 5 of us work on a list of questions and present the answers to the rest of the TBL group of 20. The evaluator randomly chooses one person from each group(of 5) to present, that one person speaks for the group(of 5), and the group(of 5) is graded based on that one person's presentation.
-Thus, it requires us to be sure that each member understands how the answers were derived in order to ensure the best grade for the group. Holds each person accountable.

I don't mind the concept ... it's just that we have 1-3 of these daily.:confused:
Wow that sounds incredibly stupid. Are these presentation grades actually a significant part of your grade for that class? I understand they want to make sure the entire group is involved but basing your grade on how well someone else presents is so flawed. What if one person in the group just doesn't care? This just sounds miserable.

You should be able to focus your study time where you need it.
 

g8orlife

chomp
10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2009
885
30
A quagmire
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Wow that sounds incredibly stupid. Are these presentation grades actually a significant part of your grade for that class? I understand they want to make sure the entire group is involved but basing your grade on how well someone else presents is so flawed. What if one person in the group just doesn't care? This just sounds miserable.

You should be able to focus your study time where you need it.
Yeah, one thing that sucks is that even if I have a masters degree in a subject, I could still not rock it because of someone else screwing up his/her presentation.:eek:

The Unit Grades are split 50% lecture and 50% TBL/PBL. There are so many presentations(~30) per unit(~3 weeks) that individually they don't factor as much, but collectively they do.
 

shadowfox87

10+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2008
332
6
Status
Medical Student
I'm proud that people said No, I thought I would be in the minority. The problem with homework is that people collaborate on it. It ends up that everyone gets max on homework, whether you actually did it yourself or not. The only way to really assess is via oral presentations, group work, and tests. This is not high school anymore where you get homework...In the real world, you gotta talk with people, prove and convince them via presentations.
 
D

deleted307836

Daily graded homework doesn't belong anywhere other than primary/secondary school.
 
About the Ads

2012mdc

Enjoying the Dark Side
5+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2010
2,269
10
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yeah, one thing that sucks is that even if I have a masters degree in a subject, I could still not rock it because of someone else screwing up his/her presentation.:eek:

The Unit Grades are split 50% lecture and 50% TBL/PBL. There are so many presentations(~30) per unit(~3 weeks) that individually they don't factor as much, but collectively they do.
what do you mean 50% lecture? Exams from lecture?

Or do you not even have exams?
 

isoquin

Allopathetic
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2007
468
5
Status
Medical Student
By the way, do any other Med Schools out there have any assignments that seem like HomeWork?
Yes. They're called clerkships. Welcome to medical school. There's no turning back now, and complaining only makes it worse.
 

2012mdc

Enjoying the Dark Side
5+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2010
2,269
10
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yes. They're called clerkships. Welcome to medical school. There's no turning back now, and complaining only makes it worse.
Not all medical schools have the same curriculum/experience

Most days during 3rd year I did not have to worry about reading for the next day. Exceptions:
1. Sometimes but not often I got assigned articles in IM and inpatient peds
2. Reading up on patients I admitted during IM if they had an unusual presentation or something I was unfamiliar with. This was done at the hospital while on call so didn't really feel like HW
3. Reading up before a case in Surgery. Cases often repeated and it didn't take long to read up on them

I go to a medical school without PBL/TBL and I have been able to set up my own study schedule for the most part throughout every year of school. HW is for the birds
 

osumc2014

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2007
2,101
4
Status
Resident [Any Field]
it would keep those procrastinators (like me) on track and not cram the night before, I think that would be quite helpful actually.
 

g8orlife

chomp
10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2009
885
30
A quagmire
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Not all medical schools have the same curriculum/experience

Most days during 3rd year I did not have to worry about reading for the next day. Exceptions:
1. Sometimes but not often I got assigned articles in IM and inpatient peds
2. Reading up on patients I admitted during IM if they had an unusual presentation or something I was unfamiliar with. This was done at the hospital while on call so didn't really feel like HW
3. Reading up before a case in Surgery. Cases often repeated and it didn't take long to read up on them

I go to a medical school without PBL/TBL and I have been able to set up my own study schedule for the most part throughout every year of school. HW is for the birds
That's what I wish I could do instead of following the school's premade study schedule.

it would keep those procrastinators (like me) on track and not cram the night before, I think that would be quite helpful actually.
This is a good point that I'll keep in mind. After encouraging camaraderie/teamwork, ... that makes only 2 good points in favor of TBL HW.:rolleyes:
 

sanityonleave

Adrenaline Junkie
10+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2008
452
78
Status
Attending Physician
No thanks. I already feel like I'm back in high school based on the small class size, drama, and ridiculous rumor mill.

Frankly, I think all the "novel learning methods" that have been on the rise recently (PBL, homework??, mandatory lecture attendance, etc) are a crock of ****. I'm totally fine with making options open to people who have trouble learning via standard didactics -- extra small group sessions, "homework," whatever -- but I don't see why the rest of us have to sacrifice our productivity studying on our own to drag those few who can't manage it kicking and screaming into a passing step 1 score.

Congratulations, my fellow medical students: you're adults. Act like it.
 

sanityonleave

Adrenaline Junkie
10+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2008
452
78
Status
Attending Physician
Yeah, the former. 50% of our grade is based on Lecture Exams.
Also, if 50% of my grade was based on something as ********ed as PBL, I'd jump off the top of the hospital. Every time I attend those asinine small group sessions I feel like I'm getting a golden shower from a bunch of education PhDs who just want everyone to hug and get along.
 
About the Ads

qmcat

Heat
10+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2008
492
11
California
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I know, right? ...

By the way, do any other Med Schools out there have any assignments that seem like HomeWork?
I would hate daily homework. Though at my school, 30% of each of our classes already comes from essays or some lab/presentation that we have to turn in. It's a pain in the butt.
 

2012mdc

Enjoying the Dark Side
5+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2010
2,269
10
Status
Resident [Any Field]
That's what I wish I could do instead of following the school's premade study schedule.



This is a good point that I'll keep in mind. After encouraging camaraderie/teamwork, ... that makes only 2 good points in favor of TBL HW.:rolleyes:
I'm not gonna pretend like I had so many different choices for medical school but curriculum definitely played a major role in deciding where to go
 
Aug 2, 2011
50
0
Status
Medical Student
No thanks. I already feel like I'm back in high school based on the small class size, drama, and ridiculous rumor mill.

Frankly, I think all the "novel learning methods" that have been on the rise recently (PBL, homework??, mandatory lecture attendance, etc) are a crock of ****. I'm totally fine with making options open to people who have trouble learning via standard didactics -- extra small group sessions, "homework," whatever -- but I don't see why the rest of us have to sacrifice our productivity studying on our own to drag those few who can't manage it kicking and screaming into a passing step 1 score.

Congratulations, my fellow medical students: you're adults. Act like it.
I mostly agree with this.
 
May 27, 2011
543
6
Davis
Status
Medical Student
No thanks. I already feel like I'm back in high school based on the small class size, drama, and ridiculous rumor mill.

Frankly, I think all the "novel learning methods" that have been on the rise recently (PBL, homework??, mandatory lecture attendance, etc) are a crock of ****. I'm totally fine with making options open to people who have trouble learning via standard didactics -- extra small group sessions, "homework," whatever -- but I don't see why the rest of us have to sacrifice our productivity studying on our own to drag those few who can't manage it kicking and screaming into a passing step 1 score.

Congratulations, my fellow medical students: you're adults. Act like it.
Hallelujah!

Edit: HALLELUJAH!!! wasn't loud enough the first time. I think this one will stick
 

officedepot

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2009
698
1
Status
I think depending on what kind of problems they are giving you that it will help you a lot more than you currently give it credit for. I didn't have too much of that stuff at my school but when we did problems in Renal I actually learned the stuff pretty well in the end. So just give it a chance I say.

Think of it as a learning tool. We all use some sort of qbank for the boards; you will be pimped on rounds 3rd/4th year; and these qs are there to help you study and learn. Questions are a good learning tool in my opinion. I wish my school did it a little more.
 

mvenus929

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
6,983
1,740
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
We have TBL sessions with quizzes... we take the quiz individually at first, and then the same quiz in a group of 6. Our grades for the TBL are based on some average of these two scores.

Our afternoon PBL sessions are graded based on participation only, and as its a separate course, everyone basically gets a Pass. In the morning, we sometimes have cases that we have to work through individually before class, but again, these are generally based on participation... though one section had them based on correctness.

We sometimes have pre-class quizzes, or short quizzes at the beginning of a class session, but nothing that really constitutes daily homework.
 

RapplixGmed

Looking for the Ether
10+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2007
710
17
Status
Medical Student
We had graded homework for one block in med school in 1st year and it was something ******ed like calculating membrane and equillibrium potentials and flow through blood vessels for physiology. Lol these were graded psets for a P/F class. Everyone HATED it. Why? Because it took away precious study time from other stuff.

I did the same and harder calculations for our quantitative physiology class in biomedical engineering in undergrad and I thought doing psets for that was ok. Now that I was in med school, I thought doing similar psets was the most ******ed idea ever concocted. Not because it wasn't important but because it wasn't necessary.

We had various half hearted attempts at PBL in some of our 2nd year blocks where our TBL grades were an average of our individual and our team scores. These PBL sessions never counted for more than 15% of our grades so they were essentially meaningless and caused unnecessary stress.

My recommendation for anybody reading this is if you're going to do PBL, make it count: like at least 30-40% of the grade. If you're going to do PBL, make it good. Have students give the PBL presentations with some professor guidance. When PBL is done well, its good but when its done crappy, its much more a waste of time than lecture.
 
Last edited:

RapplixGmed

Looking for the Ether
10+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2007
710
17
Status
Medical Student
Yes. They're called clerkships. Welcome to medical school. There's no turning back now, and complaining only makes it worse.
I 100% agree with this. In 3rd year, rarely will tell you to read X or solve Y problem but if you don't do it, you will seem like a ******.

0. elementry school: you read together in class. Nobody gives a **** if you know it or not. You have "tests."
1. middle school: You are assigned "reading." Nobody gives a **** if you know it or not. You have "tests."
2. high school: You are assigned reading. If you don't know it, you fail a quiz or your teacher gets mad at you.
3. college: You are assigned reading. If you don't know it, you fail on your final exam.
4. med school: you decide what to read. If you don't know it, people ignore it but say you suck behind your back.
 
About the Ads

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,024
70
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My clerkship experience was nothing like that, for the most part, and I'd NEVER attend a school with daily required assignments during any portion of the basic science curriculum. That would be abjectly miserable beyond compare. I had almost-daily quizzes during my pediatrics rotation, and they were a huge pain in the ass. I can't imagine having to do that for 2 years instead of just 2 months.
 
2

235009

daily graded hw would be a huge waste of time because you get bogged down doing the assignment that you never actually study. your goal becomes to complete the assignment and do well in it rather than actually learning the material. you can even say the same about weekly assignments. i wouldn't be opposed to one or two graded assignments in a 1 month block or assignments that aren't graded
 

ArcGurren

only one will survive
Aug 6, 2010
1,920
14
Status
Medical Student
I'm going to go against the "i like purely lectures because it allows me to be lazy when I feel like it and sleep till 10 and enter my school once a month" grain and come out in support of TBLs/PBLs. Some of our preclinical classes had these and I thought these were actually some of the best classes as a result. It's not that our lecturers were always bad, but I never personally learned by listening to people speak at me.

And it's not a question of whether or not you have the 'personal motivation' or whatever to learn. I have plenty of that. I think if you learn by looking it up and writing it/typing it, it sticks more than someone just reading a slide out to you. I find that mindless, boring, and at least I get to interact with others in a TBL/PBL case.

But I always forget, 99% of SDN is people who get 260s on their Step I while using Gunner Training and all want to go into Anesthesia, Radiology, and Derm, and therefore everyone hates interaction with people (heavy sarcasm, for those who are having trouble understanding). So maybe I just don't fit the general profile here. Don't get me wrong, I understand that different things work for different people... but I figured I'd lend a voice in support of a PBL system.

Of course that being said, daily homework is a bit ridiculous (max in those specific courses we'd have maybe 1-2 TBLs/PBL cases per week) but having some sort of assignment which you can do at your own pace due at some point in the future... doesn't seem like that bad of an idea. Having it graded is a bit counterproductive... instead I would have it so that your exams are built around the material covered on these assignments (which is essentially how our PBL system works).
 

ArcGurren

only one will survive
Aug 6, 2010
1,920
14
Status
Medical Student
I think depending on what kind of problems they are giving you that it will help you a lot more than you currently give it credit for. I didn't have too much of that stuff at my school but when we did problems in Renal I actually learned the stuff pretty well in the end. So just give it a chance I say.

Think of it as a learning tool. We all use some sort of qbank for the boards; you will be pimped on rounds 3rd/4th year; and these qs are there to help you study and learn. Questions are a good learning tool in my opinion. I wish my school did it a little more.
I'm inclined to agree somewhat - going through PBLs helped me build up a style of studying which allows me to review various concepts in a short amount of time... something that is incredibly useful during 3rd year clerkships.
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,024
70
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
going through PBLs helped me build up a style of studying which allows me to review various concepts in a short amount of time... something that is incredibly useful during 3rd year clerkships.
See, this is the argument that always confuses me. Why do you need PBL to do that? I did it on my own just fine. I agree with the sentiment completely, but I don't see why that's an approach limited to PBL schools. While the option to be lazy and work on your own schedule is certainly extremely nice, I just prefer learning in my own way, without someone telling me what to do when.
 

ArcGurren

only one will survive
Aug 6, 2010
1,920
14
Status
Medical Student
See, this is the argument that always confuses me. Why do you need PBL to do that? I did it on my own just fine. I agree with the sentiment completely, but I don't see why that's an approach limited to PBL schools. While the option to be lazy and work on your own schedule is certainly extremely nice, I just prefer learning in my own way, without someone telling me what to do when.
Right which is why what I said essentially just applies to my personal experience, and perhaps that of a number of other people. There are many other reasons why I liked TBLs/PBLs as I said before - interacting with others, having some sort of structure which gives me a goal to work with (though I do fine without that as well), and... most of all, the FOCUSED component of it. I can't believe the kind of serious bullcrap that is taught in many of my classes which is neither clinically nor board relevant. With a focused curriculum around PBLs and TBLs in those classes we covered everything necessary to excel on the Shelf exams and the respective subjects on the boards, while also perhaps learning extra tidbits for our clinical years. It was a win-win to me.

Yes I get that some people don't like having a deadline to work towards... fine. But it's not fair to whine about it without looking at the positives.
 

mvenus929

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
6,983
1,740
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I'm going to go against the "i like purely lectures because it allows me to be lazy when I feel like it and sleep till 10 and enter my school once a month" grain and come out in support of TBLs/PBLs. Some of our preclinical classes had these and I thought these were actually some of the best classes as a result. It's not that our lecturers were always bad, but I never personally learned by listening to people speak at me.

And it's not a question of whether or not you have the 'personal motivation' or whatever to learn. I have plenty of that. I think if you learn by looking it up and writing it/typing it, it sticks more than someone just reading a slide out to you. I find that mindless, boring, and at least I get to interact with others in a TBL/PBL case.

But I always forget, 99% of SDN is people who get 260s on their Step I while using Gunner Training and all want to go into Anesthesia, Radiology, and Derm, and therefore everyone hates interaction with people (heavy sarcasm, for those who are having trouble understanding). So maybe I just don't fit the general profile here. Don't get me wrong, I understand that different things work for different people... but I figured I'd lend a voice in support of a PBL system.

Of course that being said, daily homework is a bit ridiculous (max in those specific courses we'd have maybe 1-2 TBLs/PBL cases per week) but having some sort of assignment which you can do at your own pace due at some point in the future... doesn't seem like that bad of an idea. Having it graded is a bit counterproductive... instead I would have it so that your exams are built around the material covered on these assignments (which is essentially how our PBL system works).
I agree. If done well, TBL/PBLs are great. At my school, it's an issue of them being done well. Nevertheless, I much prefer my curriculum with a nice mix of lecture and interactive classes, even if they are required. Of course, that one system where we had like 20 interactive sessions in one week was absolutely hell, because we literally never got the chance to study for the material that wasn't on those quizzes at the start of class, and we were super burnt out by the end. But 1-2 times a week is perfectly fine.
 

Guillemot

7+ Year Member
Dec 24, 2010
375
216
Status
Attending Physician
HW? Sounds like the administration at some school is trollololing on their students.
 

littlealex

little tiny alex
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,099
8
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Seriously OP. I know you're just starting medical school but you need to stop thinking like a child. This is not the third grade. No there should not be graded homeworks.

If you made it this far and is unable to motivate yourself you are in the wrong place.
 

g8orlife

chomp
10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2009
885
30
A quagmire
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Seriously OP. I know you're just starting medical school but you need to stop thinking like a child. This is not the third grade. No there should not be graded homeworks.

If you made it this far and is unable to motivate yourself you are in the wrong place.
Umm... :eyebrow:That's not what I meant by my post. I'm not thinking like a child, because I'm actually against the assignments. I think other posters figured that out.

BTW - Sorry for the long reply time. I randomly went back and noticed this post for the first time. (I thought this thread had already died)
 

g8orlife

chomp
10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2009
885
30
A quagmire
Status
Resident [Any Field]
BTW x 2 : We have a biochem metabolism exam tomorrow, and the mnemonic in your signature has made my life much easier.

:thumbup:
 

VoiceofReason

all i care about is money
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2006
1,264
36
New York
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm going to go against the "i like purely lectures because it allows me to be lazy when I feel like it and sleep till 10 and enter my school once a month" grain and come out in support of TBLs/PBLs. Some of our preclinical classes had these and I thought these were actually some of the best classes as a result. It's not that our lecturers were always bad, but I never personally learned by listening to people speak at me.

And it's not a question of whether or not you have the 'personal motivation' or whatever to learn. I have plenty of that. I think if you learn by looking it up and writing it/typing it, it sticks more than someone just reading a slide out to you. I find that mindless, boring, and at least I get to interact with others in a TBL/PBL case.

But I always forget, 99% of SDN is people who get 260s on their Step I while using Gunner Training and all want to go into Anesthesia, Radiology, and Derm, and therefore everyone hates interaction with people (heavy sarcasm, for those who are having trouble understanding). So maybe I just don't fit the general profile here. Don't get me wrong, I understand that different things work for different people... but I figured I'd lend a voice in support of a PBL system.

Of course that being said, daily homework is a bit ridiculous (max in those specific courses we'd have maybe 1-2 TBLs/PBL cases per week) but having some sort of assignment which you can do at your own pace due at some point in the future... doesn't seem like that bad of an idea. Having it graded is a bit counterproductive... instead I would have it so that your exams are built around the material covered on these assignments (which is essentially how our PBL system works).
im lazy because i dont want to participate in $hit that isnt worth my time?
 
About the Ads