From a current freshman:
In college, one lecture class has about 250 students in it and the information goes by really fast. We would cover about 3 chapters in an hour, about three days a week. At first it took me a while to get used to the speed and the way the professors taught. In high school, the teachers are very careful about making sure the students understand and take in the subject but in college, the professors don’t really care whether you’re in class or not. This realization hit me like a ton of bricks because finally, after years of supervision from teachers and parents, it was all up to me (and only me) to make sure I do well.
The freedom to do whatever I wanted was quite overwhelming. I had to learn to discipline myself to keep up with the readings and to make sure that I knew the information and to not spend too much time playing. However, if you go to lecture and take good notes, it’s not that hard (Duh). At first the fact that the responsibility is ALL yours scares the heck out of you, but eventually you’ll learn to deal with it and have fun in the process.
Useful for college professors to know how freshmen feel! While many faculty are experimenting with better methods, the typical large class, one-to-many lecture is still the dominant mode of interaction between faculty and freshmen, who could easily fall through the cracks without anyone noticing.
Read the rest of the post as well for some fun, and more positive stuff, including the appearance of a researcher I know and whose research I value highly….