chapter 13 /14 : LUSENET : UR General Chemistry : One Thread

Dear Professor Schroder,

I am speaking on behalf of a few friends and I who are somewhat concerned with the fact that we have to read and go over chapters 12, 13, and 14 with only three classes remaining. We realize you may have an syllabus to follow, however we don't feel its fair to cram us with more material in the last week and a hald than we did in the first two months. We were curious if you would reconsider the amount of material you have assigned because to us it just seems impossible to get a fiirm grasp over the concepts within such a short period. Thank you for you time. your students

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2000


Just to correct your statement: The homework reading for the last week and a half is Ch. 13 and part of Ch. 14. It does not include Ch. 12! We already had Ch. 12 due last week and have already discussed the topic in class. The last reading assignment can be regarded as typical, as far as the number of pages (app. 62 pages per week and a half) is concerned, but as very light in content. There is almost no math, there are almost no equations in this last assignment. I am baffled by your estimate that this assignment is more demanding than reading and understanding the many pages (much of it course notes) with many equations in the first major section (thermodynamics). And the second pillar of chemistry, quantum mechanics, is also quite demanding in terms of concepts and mathematical realization. I suspect that you have succumbed to a misconception to which most of your classmates would not subscribe after some reflection. Do you think that they would enjoy having more exam questions on thermodynamics and quantum mechanics than the simpler topics kinetics, electrochem, and bonding, which they had to study more on their own?

I have tried to explain my teaching strategy before, and on different occasions (You find data and a discussion of these concepts on the TIMSS-Committee government websites I have mentioned previously). Students have the responsibility to read ahead and come prepared to class and practice the corresponding simple drill problems. In class, we do the hard stuff, the concepts and the math. This is the method of learning by considering selected examples to be studied in depth. The remainder is in the responsibility of each student. This method contrasts the traditional "mile-wide-inch-deep" approach, which by now has been thoroughly discredited.

On the other hand, and to perhaps alleviate your concerns, let me reiterate that I do not expect you to be able to reproduce in an exam detailed knowledge of a topic that we have not covered in detail in class.

I hope that you will continue on the good trends of the last few exams!

Best regards,

W. Udo Schroeder

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I just want to agree with the above entry in the bulletin board. I think that it is rather hard to try to squeeze in three more chapters with only three classes remaining, only two after today, especially since we are still talking about chapter 12 in class. I think that if Professor Schroder had followed the syllabus more closely than we would not be in this situation now and it will be the students who suffer from trying to learn this much for the final in such a short period of time. Thanks for you time.

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2000

I would like to also express my concern about this issue. I don't think it is reasonable to ask us to learn and understand 2 more chapters when only two more classes remain and it is obvious we won't finish going over all the material from these chapters in class. It isn't fair to hold us responsible for concepts not covered in class and it isn't our fault that we are behind the syllabus. I know many others have this same concern and hopefully you will consider reducing the amount of material we are responsible for based on how much we actually get to in class. Thanks for your time.

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2000

I agree. Covering 16 sections in two lectures is not possible. Now we have to spend time learning new chemistry material when we should be studying for our other finals.

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2000

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