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Re: USAGE: University "subjects", "modules", "courses", etc.

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 2, 2005, 6:14
From:    Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
> On 1 Feb 2005, at 8.42 pm, Thomas R. Wier wrote: > > A "course", in American > > parlance, is one class. This quarter, e.g., I'm taking a seminar > > on infixation, a seminar on wh-movement, and the second quarter > > of Nahuatl. These classes are called courses. > > Each individual class? So for instance in 1st semester, 2nd year > psychology (PSY21PYA), I had four one-hour lectures (in two two-hour > blocks) and a nominally four-hour tute each week, according to your > definition of 'course' would that then mean that for Psych, I was doing > five (or three) courses *per week*? I must've misunderstood something.
No, no... I do not mean each class-room sitting. Okay, so by class I mean "subject matter to be studied for a given period of time, after which one receives a certain number of credits".
> > Usually, the number of > > credits equals the actual number of hours one spends in the > > classroom per week, and at UT this was also encoded into the > > that course's (=class's) numeric designation. So, Ling 301 > > is the introductory linguistics class, it meets three hours > > per week, and after the end of one semester, if one passes > > one has earned three credit hours. > > That really shouldn't work. Plenty of subjects have a lot of work you > need to do outside of the class, but others don't.
Well, that's why I said "usually". Sometimes, the number of credits one receives will be greater or less than the number of hours in the actual classroom.
> > Anyways, > > like your system, 10 is a light semester, 15 is normal, and 20 > > is ridiculously heavy. > > Well, except that a subject worth 10 cp was only a *subject*, not the > cumulative load for the entire semester. I think a fulltime load at La > Trobe is somewhere about 60 cp.
I'm totally confused about the way your system works, then.
> > At private universities like the U. of Chicago, things (can) work > > entirely differently: here they're on a quarter system, they > > don't have majors but "concentrations", undergraduates have > > much more uniform requirements for graduation, different language > > requirements, no state-specific requirements (at UT, before > > they would accept my US government AP test, I needed to take > > another "Texas-element" test on Texas government and history), > > many more students are in the dual-degree bachelor's+masters > > program, etc. > > A 'double degree' in Oz normally refers to two bachelor's at once e.g. > I'm doing a Bachelor of Computer Science/Bachelor of Cognitive Science > double degree, mostly, I'm told, because no-one knows what Bachelor of > Science (Cognitive) means, nor that it involves any computer study. > But this dual-degree of yours, it means you go straight from bachelor > to master in one go? Or even, you do undergrad and postgrad stuff at > the same time?
That's right. At the UoC, there are many students who will stay five years instead of the normal four, and crucially it will constitute a continuous period of study. Thus, while at most state institutions like UT, one must complete one's bachelor's degree and then apply, again, to enroll in graduate level masters programs, at the UoC this does not hold. Also, at the UoC, advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students frequently take the same courses -- whether because the undergraduates are in the dual-degree program or they're just interested. (This does not appear to water down the graduate program much. Many, many undergrads do poorly in classes where grads do well.) This is also partly because the UoC is such a small institution, having only 13 thousand or so total students, combined graduate and undergraduate students, and classroom sizes are rarely above 10, more frequently 5-8. The distribution has been about 60-70% graduate, 30-40% undergrad, but that's changing because undergrads are the ones who go on to get high-paying professional degrees in law or business, and give lots of money to their alma mater afterwards, while grads, of course, don't make as much being academics. The universities see undergrads as cash-cows in some sense. This is a tradition that many other western nations are realizing they need to emulate, since the state can't possibly provide as much money as the private sector can. The shocking amount of graffiti I saw on the walls of the university in Frankfurt are a testament to the kind of institutional starvation that they are seeking to avoid. (Of course, part of this has to do with American culture, where philanthropy is absolutely expected of anyone earning more than, say, $90-100k a year. That will be harder to change in other societies.) ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637