Monday, March 23, 2009

Why I am Such a Terrible Student

Because I apparently don't have enough to do, I am taking some college classes and preparing for grad school in the fall.

For someone who tests well and is considered somewhat smart sometimes, I can be a really terrible student. Not in terms of grades, but in terms of being a general pain in the buttocks. Part of it is because I do corporate training for a living and I have a pretty good sense of what is effective adult learning and what is not. And by saying "I have a pretty good sense of" I mean that I know this stuff backwards and forwards and I can be pretty snotty and arrogant about it if pressed.

I also know just enough of interface design and interactive programming to be dangerous. So when I take an online course, I am not only evaluating the information presented, I am evaluating how the information is presented - what is being rewarded and what is being graded. I tend to take a lot of screen captures and make elaborate notes, many of which I share with my professors.

This is dangerous, because I run the risk of coming across like I am telling the professor how to do his or her job (aka Insta-Fail!). However, if it is couched in a particular way, (aka "I was not sure if you noticed how those crazy internet people screwed up your grand vision of this course, but check out what they did. Because obviously, professor, you are brilliant and would never make a mistake like the one I just found in this online course.") the results can be beneficial.

This also makes me a bit of a handful. I have several personal, sometimes strained-polite emails, from my professors telling me how much they appreciate my enthusiasm for the course and for learning in general. They then end the email with a polite little, "And do you plan on taking more coursed from me?" Sometimes I read a slight cringe in the emails, but that is because most professors don't use emoticons.

Anyway, mid terms are this week. In the middle of my work schedule, my avid movie watching, my hours of goofing off on the internet, my book, and my blogging thing, I get to show the world how much I know about Accounting. I know my professor is anxiously awaiting to hear my opinion of the effectiveness of the test questions and how they relate to the course objectives.


Churlita said...

A friend of mine is a professor here and he pulled a prank on the first day of classes for a Freshman survey class. He hired an actor to play the professor and he acted like one of those older students who kept correcting the professor. Finally, the actor said, "If you're so smart, why don't YOU teach the class," and stormed out. The actual professor got up and started teaching the class while the freshmen, sat there with their mouths open. maybe you can work out something like that with one of your teachers.

M. Robert Turnage said...

See, that sounds like fun! I would love a class like that.

Unfortunately, I am limited to online-only classes for the foreseeable future. My job is 100% travel and I cannot commit to being in the same place at the same time two-to-three times a week. So I can only have online interactions with my professors and fellow students. Last time I had a face-to-face teacher, things went quite well.

InvisibleMarketing said...

Sweetie, you were a handful before. This course merely provides you with the opportunity to be who you are, with a new audience. :) Love, C