There's an interesting opinion piece in this week's Hustler by Akshitkumar Mistry, a fourth-year Vanderbilt medical student. "Weed out weed-out courses" argues that intro courses in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics are preventing too many students from succeeding in those fields. Mistry writes:
Research has consistently demonstrated that students grasp concepts better with active learning rather than passively hearing a lecture for an hour, and then watching some graduate student solve practice problems that they couldn't. STEM fields in reality are all about application in the real world with visual, experiential, hands-on problem solving.
That's a pretty good summary of why I've designed this course the way I have.
Image: "Untitled," efwp, Flickr (CC)