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Expectations in a (first year) university course

Context: The lecture style is a bit different from usual, and people have generally found the course harder than they expected (it being a first year CPSC course). The midterm was very hard for most people and many people got lower grades than expected. The instructors have admitted that it was a bit harder than they aimed for, and have offered some makeup questions on the next assignment.

"I think more questions is better than fewer questions as it assesses more parts of the course topics, and not biasing those who are more stronger in one area vs another." --from the discussion: Re:Fail(a,mt)

hmm, this is an interesting point. Could we as students just be very used to finishing all questions on an exam? Is this a reasonable goal to have?

How much of the course material should the exam aim to cover? If the coverage is limited to what can be completed in the given time, then there will be some parts of the course that aren't tested. This means that students who are better at the content not covered will be at a disadvantage.

If the majority of students finish an exam, and then the majority of those students get most of the questions correct, what happens to the people who really put a lot of time into the course or who are really good at the material?

Perhaps there there is expectation inflation in the same way some people talk about there being grade inflation? I personally feel I learn more from classes that cover some content that is beyond my current ability (sometimes only expecting me to just pass the course). If I don't get it right away, it often will make sense later in the class or even after the class is finished.


Buying college education

"Moreover, if you’re not planning on becoming, say, a doctor, the benefits of diligent study can be overstated. In recent decades, the biggest rewards have gone to those whose intelligence is deployable in new directions on short notice, not to those who are locked into a single marketable skill, however thoroughly learned and accredited. Most of the employees who built up, say, Google in its early stages could never have been trained to do so, because neither the company nor the idea of it existed when they were getting their educations. Under such circumstances, it’s best not to specialize too much." --from NY Times article: What a college education buys