Top Navigation

Supermassive Black Holes (like my class).

supermassive black hole

(ESO/M. Kornmesser)

Reading a few other posts from this week and the last gets me thinking about how we “do” education. For students to be successful (and complete on time), they really need to bet taking at least 4 classes a semester. Now we know that for many students this is almost impossible. They have to worry about work, kids, family, and other activities. There are too many things going on during the semester to count. And doggone it Dave Sprenkle… I think my class needs to be at the center of the Universe (or at least the galaxy). Funny allegory there… we find supermassive black holes at the center of many galaxies (including out own). I would think that many students would agree that Anatomy & Physiology is a supermassive black hole that can suck you in and spaghettify you (see illustration). spaghettify

Maybe we should start looking at new ways to offer our curriculum to students where, at least for a time, a single course could be at the center of their attention. Aren’t we concerned about student success? Let’s take a look at Colorado College for just a minute. There, students take one class at a time (and faculty teach one class at a time). it is a 4-5 week session and they meet multiple hours a day. Fully immersing in the subject for that season. Courses that are a sequence would take a couple of sessions in a row. Just think, in a 16 week semester, students could take 4 courses, one at a time. Sounds delightful to me. What do you think?

3 Responses to Supermassive Black Holes (like my class).

  1. Joe deater November 6, 2018 at 1:29 PM #

    Hi Nick,

    That sounds lovely in a ideal education system but as an adjunct instructor in a specialized class there is no way I could do that. Yes it may be great for the educational purpose in theory, just like the black hole in the center of the galaxy. But more like dark matter it is elusive and not easily attainable. The gravity of it all may not work for everyone both faculty and student.

    Coming from a military background and having technical training in the Air force I can tell you going to “School” 5 days a week for 8 or 9 hours a day at a college level, was intense. A lot of information is given to you and as soon as you finish one block and move into the next the previous is dumped unless it is used to build on. Glimmers of it do still shine through still today after 25 years but the majority has been blown out in a Super Nova like a dying star.

  2. Tom November 6, 2018 at 2:39 PM #

    My Daughter is at such a school–Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. It works very well for her.

  3. David Sprenkle November 7, 2018 at 2:15 PM #

    Hi Nick,

    If I was taking Anatomy & Physiology (which could conceivably still happen, albeit in some alternative nightmare dimension), I would indeed have to consider it the “center of the universe” to have a prayer of making it through.

    So your point is valid 🙂

Leave a Reply