All Posts Tagged With: "UNBC"
Prof. Pettigrew on why some courses are better spread out
Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about block courses at Canadian universities. The idea is that instead of taking several courses over a semester or two, students take one course at a time over a matter of weeks. The system is already in place at Quest University and the University of Northern British Columbia is trying them out.
It’s easy to see the appeal of this kind of programming. Students get to focus on one subject at a time. Moreover, the final exam comes not long after the first class, so they have less time to forget material from earlier in the course. I’ve experienced these and other benefits myself while teaching spring and summer classes, so I can see the temptation.
But it seems to me that block courses have as many or more disadvantages, and we should be cautious before jumping on the block bandwagon.
A photographic tour of the Prince George campus
This fall, Maclean’s photographed 24 of the 49 institutions featured in the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings. Below, Simon Hayter shows you around the University of Northern British Columbia. Click on each photo to make it larger. Then check out the other 23 galleries here.
Find out why some students are opposed
Back in first year, I remember realizing that the hardest part of university isn’t the lab reports, the chemistry midterms, or the 1000-word essays.
It’s when they’re all due within three days of each other. Before you can even begin learning the material, you must learn how to juggle five course’s worth material that always comes due at once.
That problem could be eliminated for future students at tiny Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, which is debating switching to a block plan where students would be taught one course at a time, rather than five at once.
The block plan looks like this. A semester’s worth of calculus is compressed into three and a half weeks, with classes taking three or four hours each day, followed by four or five hours of homework. After a few weeks, there’s an exam. Then students move directly to the next course.