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(Alternate title: GER1000 – Meet Numbers!)
This module is automatically pre-allocated to all students within their first year of study. Having been somewhat fortunate to get the module in Semester 2 instead of Semester 1, I headed into the module thinking that it would be an interesting experience to take a module and work in a group with students from other faculties. Not that it hasn’t occurred before (I did do group work with others in my GET1008 module), but this seemed more mathy than say, working on a critique of a speech.
What I expected
I had low expectations for the module, not least since it was only introduced in the year which I matriculated, and the initial reviews I had heard from peers who took it in Semester 1 pointed to the relative inexperience of those that were teaching the module. It’s quite forgivable given the short prep time the instructors had before they rolled out and taught the module, so maybe my tutors would have improved a bit since they’ve learned from their first semester’s experience?
What I got
I got online lectures (not webcasted, for no physical lectures were held) along with uh, physical tutorial sessions where we worked within groups to learn how numbers could be used to prove or disprove things. One learns a bit about fallacies as well, using graphs and logical reasoning to check for confounding factors that may imply a flawed relationship between a cause and an effect. Something cool that was taught (but not tested for the semester I took it in) was Piecemeal Linear Interpolation (PLI), which unfortunately went over the heads of many in my tutorial class that skipped that section.
The tutor who took my class was quite nice and methodological, explaining questions and facilitating small group discussions relating to the main topic for the tutorial session. Lectures were effective (if skipped by a portion of the cohort) in transmitting information despite being online, and overall the module was quite well done.
[Webcasted?] Heck no, the lectures are online already. No physical lectures for this module.
[Course materials?] Limited, what materials exist can be downloaded from IVLE system.
Assessment & Workload
One is assessed as follows:
- Tutorial participation. This consists of contributing to discussions when one’s in a small group as well as presentation of your group’s answer if you’re picked.
- Group Project. One has to find a recent study of something within an existing journal and apply the principles taught within the course to critique and support/refute the study’s conclusions. A short write up of two pages and a single poster are the deliverables, with the former being graded as per usual and the latter being used for a presentation at the end of the semester.
- Semester Finals consisting of about 30-40 MCQs in two hours. Not too difficult, with many leaving the exam hall at the one hour mark after they’ve finished the paper and checked it for the Xth time.
- Online Quizzes on a weekly basis, if I recall correctly.
The workload is extremely light (relative to core modules, anyway), and students can expect to spend maybe an hour a week at maximum for tutorial preparations and another hour or so for weekly online lectures. All in all, it’s a module that gives one a bit of rest and free time, but as one can’t choose when they get the module, it’s more of..randomized rest.
I didn’t do too well for the online quizzes and heard that the bell curve for this module was horrible due to the content being too easy for most, so…maybe a B to a B+ would be possible?
And yea, I got a B. It seems like a good group project and decent tutorial participation wasn’t enough to overcome the bell curve of finals.
Conclusion & Tips
Given that it’s a mandatory module for everyone but it is randomly pre-allocated, not much can be said about the module aside from it being…functional. One does learn something if they bother to commit it to memory, but some majors may find it less relevant for their course of study than other majors. Perhaps its greatest benefit would be the light workload that gives one more time to rest or complete work for their other modules.
- Do work on the group project proposal early so that one doesn’t have to do a last minute rush. It’s not too difficult even if solo’d, so…there’s not much of an excuse other than procrastination.
- For the project presentation, one’s allocated slot for presentation may be the first or the last, so eating lunch first is recommended. Aside from a single question being asked of each member regarding the project, the overall presentation passes quite quickly and most of your time will be spent waiting for your group’s turn.
- For the project’s poster, try to strike a nice balance between eye catching, easily understood infographics and detailed descriptions of your group’s methodological approach to dissecting the journal article. It’ll make it easier for your to present it and it’ll also be graded better than if it was imbalanced towards chunks of text or sparse substance.