Hi Readers! This is the third and last of the triple post thingies – I hope you enjoyed seeing some different perspectives! This one is from Tish (beyond the tour). Check out Part 1 by Jenn and Part 2 by me also! And if you’ve got the time, click on over to the links in my sidebar, and show some love to the other blog class bloggers, they’re great people and writers!
From High School to College: A New Kind of Learning
Tish – beyond the tour
From my experience and the experiences of my friends, students tend to struggle with learning in college for different reasons. I have seen students come from high schools where they were the class Valedictorian and once they come into college they struggle to find their niche and excel at the same level. These struggles seem to stem from the following factors:
1. The Level of Difficulty of their High School
2. Inability to adjust to different teaching methods
3. Time management
While these are only three of the possible problems, the overall theme is that with each grade sequence in one’s life (elementary, middle, high school, college), you need to make an appropriate adjustment to understand how to learn at that level.
Each grade level in elementary and secondary school increases in difficulty but the there is a drastic shift from high school to college. Once you enter college you no longer have the confines of your home to protect you, your parents, or anyone else to influence you.
The Level of Difficulty of their High School
It is a known fact that there are differences in teaching methods between high schools across America. Some schools offer AP and IB classes while others do not. Some schools use a 4.0 grading scale while others use a 5.0 or even a point system out of 1000. Some schools have Rhodes scholars and Ivy League graduates teaching students while others have volunteers.
With so much variation in high schools it can be expected that students will be coming in with different levels and experience learning. This is why colleges typically require that students submit a “Secondary School Report” which details every aspect of their school. Admissions Representatives will then compare the student to their high school. Depending on a school, a particular student could have been in the top of their class at a not so competitive high school, come to college and not do as well since their school did not adequately prepare them.
Inability to Adjust to Different Teaching Methods
As stated in the previous section, many students struggle learning in college due to the level of difficulty of their high school. This struggle continues when students are forced to adhere to different teaching styles. In high school, many teachers will spoon feed their students the information they teach in order to make things easier for them. In high school there are make up exams, your teachers will contact you if you’re failing a test, and they generally hold your hand through everything.
Once you enter college, you are faced with different professors who each have varying ways of teaching. Some professors teach solely out of a textbook [which means going to class isn’t necessary]. Some professors talk the entire time during a lecture without stopping for questions. Some professors will teach one concept in class and put a different concept on the exam which creates confusion for students.
Each professor you encounter in college has a different teaching method which can make learning a bit difficult. With that in mind, students [particularly freshmen] struggle with figuring out how their professor teaches and how they can utilize their teaching method to learn accordingly.
In order to overcome this, students should meet with their professors and teaching assistants in order to get to know them on a personal level and learn their teaching style.
Out of all the reasons why students struggle with learning in college, time management is the most important. When students enter college they are given a new sense of freedom: they are no longer confined to their homes, no parents, no supervision, new friends, and endless experiences.
With that being said, some students struggle to balance their new found social life, sleeping, and studying. Deadlines start to creep up on them and, as the picture to the left illustrates, there is pressure to keep up with extracurriculars, family, work etc. in order to be a “successful student”.
In order to overcome these problems, time management is VERY important. The University of Maryland for example gives students agenda books once they move onto campus. This allows students to write down dates and deadlines and help them manage their school and study time. Along with the agenda book, UMD offers learning assistance services to help students work on basic study skills, techniques, and ways they can effectively manage their time.
Overall, each student learns at a different level and pace. It is imperative that as students enter college, they are aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and the fact that college is an entirely new chapter of their life that they must plan for accordingly.
Thanks for the great posts, Tish and Jenn! Readers, let me know if you want to do some kind of post-sharing stuff; I think I like it!