After we have completed each course at KI we have the opportunity to give feedback. I’m going to go out on a limb and write this review as an open letter. I will try to tackle each element of the course that I think needs tackling and I will offer some changes that I believe can be made. So let’s begin with the first thing that faces us students when a course begins. I use the words lecture and presentation interchangeably because I felt that often we were being presented to, not lectured. I’ll start with the brightest part:
Where it shone
Let’s be honest. No one is going to contest that Rheumatology hands down gave us the best showing. During presentations a physiotherapist was there helping steering the information, the presenter seemed to know what we needed to understand and what was just interesting information and we got to meet patients and try to find out what type of rheumatological disease they had by asking questions about their symptoms. That is grade A teaching.
Now let’s get into the learning experience:
I think they know where they screwed up, but I would like to point it out anyway in list form:
- They didn’t invite anyone into the platform (Canvas) and so we couldn’t access any material/information until two work days before the course started.
- They didn’t put the schedule on TimeEdit, the platform we use for schedules. The first two weeks were simply not there. Since we weren’t invited to the canvas rooms we were very confused indeed. They did have the rest of the course on TimeEdit, however we couldn’t trust that schedule because they had supplied us with another one in PDF form which we could find in Canvas.
- Multiple times they updated the PDF schedule in Canvas. And they did so without sending out a message. This means that if you downloaded the schedule, you may have missed something (although we are good at informing each other).
- At first there was no order to the file system. Canvas has a system called modules, which the course didn’t use, they just threw everything in one folder. Considering the fact that teachers in general are bad at naming PDF:s this was annoying. They did eventually sort the files in folders (but didn’t use modules).
- The uploaded PDFs were often obsolete and many times not made to the one who held presentations. We had to continually ask the administrators for updated information.
- Each part of the course had a book associated with it. That’s 6 academic books written for medical students (we’re not medical students) for one course. It’s almost as though they didn’t expect us to buy or read anything!
I don’t want to be mean to the lecturer, although I think some of them phoned it in, because they were mostly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their subjects. But when I, after receiving one and a half hour of intense information dispensing, asked “So what do you want us to take with us from this?” I don’t want the answer “I don’t know”. However, that is the answer I, and others got. The problem with the teachers not knowing what we are supposed to learn can’t be understated. I really hope they do a better job of informing them in the future, of what we are supposed to know. I want to also say that some presentations were amazing, fun and very interesting. It was a roller coaster really. The sad thing is that I think that much of this could be counteracted by a simple solution that i will get to in the end.
The examination on Neuropathy was a joke. The questions were almost exactly the same as previous years and in my opinion didn’t reflect well what we learned. You could have just studied old examinations the day before and skipped everything else and still gotten a full score. I was done in 11 minutes and got the full 20 points. “Damn you’re fast and smart Noa” I hear you think. NO. Everyone was as fast and everyone I asked got full points. If you didn’t get full points it doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it means you didn’t study examinations from previous years but instead from the lectures, or just wrote something wrong which can happen to anyone. They didn’t take this examination seriously which is proven by the fact that they didn’t have a real examination hall and you could easily cheat by bringing your phone because the one who sat there couldn’t really see us that well. And the lights didn’t work. If you have ever been to a real examination you know they try to restrict cheating in many ways, partly by spacing us out, have multiple people
The second examination which covered all other aspects of the course often felt like it wasn’t written by the people who held the lectures. The information was sometimes contradicting the information we got from teachers. In particular one question regarding how long it would take for a certain fracture to heal was different, and who knows what else they know that we don’t? It’s enough to tilt people, and it’s not good.
What could they have done?
Here is the straight up most important change they need to make for the next term:
GIVE US STUDY QUESTIONS!
How hard can it be? If we have these, we can listen to the presentations in a much more knowledgeable way and have an idea of what to ask if the presenter misses something, or if it’s unclear what they mean. Other courses have this and I do not see why Clinical Medicine cannot have this.
Seriously. Some of the presentations gave us information in a terrible manner. Stumbling over different bits of the information in an order not conducive to learning. When giving information it’s critical to give it in such a way that a student can learn it. One of the most boring presentations was good because the teacher just ran through the conditions in a way that was easy to note down and practice. Had it also been funny it may have been better, but I’ll take an informative experience that teaches me something over a fun one that doesn’t when I’m at school.
I hope you don’t see this as petty, because the devil is in the details. If the small things don’t work it affects the big things.
- Invite everyone to canvas
- Have the schedule on TimeEdit and inform of changes
- Use the module function in Canvas, it’s there for a reason
- Try to have all the presentations in halls on campus
- Make sure teachers are prepared to receive and answer emails; we had some trouble contacting them during this course.
- Make sure teachers bring their own computers, or that they are provided one by KI; us students are not supposed to supply our own technology, except for note taking.
- Fit the slides to the purpose: 120 slides for a couple of hours isn’t conducive to learning.
1. Give us study questions to help guide us
2. Use the module function
3. Inform us of updates to the schedule
4. Have a uniform naming convention on files
If you reading this is a person that feel like the feedback provided here is relevant for you, please don’t act defensively. I’ve written this because I want genuine positive change for the people who are coming after me. I also hope to learn myself from this experience so that I may avoid them in the future.
Thanks for reading.
Vilket arbete du lagt ner på att beskriva och förbättra undervisningen!
Jag är imponerad av hur systematisk och pedagogiskt du lägger fram det.
Hälsningar Maria G
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