Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaching QOTD: This is how it will be for the rest of the semester

I'm teaching the introductory Operations Research undergraduate course. (typically taught to first semester juniors and the core usually is introduction to linear programming.) Even though it is at 8AM the first two weeks have been very lively. Out of ~60 students, there are probably 15+ that take an active part in class discussion. I have been able to teach the material almost completely using question and answer. It is not quite Socratic method, but it is very close (and lets be real, even law schools don't truly use Socratic method.)

Until today (day 1 of week 3). Most of the class was pretty dead. The usual chatter of people arriving is subdued. And I am down to a few reliables to answer questions. I felt like I was actually lecturing for the first time this semester. By 15 minutes I acknowledge the obvious and we take it nice and slow for the rest of the class.

Later today I was chatting with our undergraduate coordinator (who has a good read on the undergrads. She is a teaching professor so they are her focus.) And she told me that yes, this class is particularly good. And that now that we are in week three, the initial excitement and energy of the new semester has worn off, and this is how it will be for the rest of the semester. *sigh*
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