Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [hackers-il] Solving Homework in Pairs

Expand Messages
  • Nadav Har'El
    ... Ok, let s make one last attempt, even though I think I already answered you. First, let s assume that you mean really working in pairs (because the more
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 4, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      On Mon, Jun 04, 2007, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Solving Homework in Pairs":
      > P.S: and just for the record - I still think I'm right when claiming it is a
      > better idea to allow working in pairs. I find that Nadav has still avoided
      > refuting my reasons.

      Ok, let's make one last attempt, even though I think I already answered you.

      First, let's assume that you mean really "working in pairs" (because the
      more common requirement is "handing in pairs" and nobody checks how you
      worked).

      The reason one studies for a degree is, in my opinion, three-fold. ONE is
      to learn material. TWO is to get experience in solving difficult problems
      in your field (not necessarily the mundane problems you'll be asked to
      solve in your first year on the job - a university is not a vocational school).
      THREE is to "get on the same page" as the peers you'll be spending your
      professional life with - learn how they think, how they talk, how they
      cooperate, and so on.

      Issue #3 - learning how to cooperate with your peers in your professional
      domain - is indeed important. You want future scientists and engineers to
      be able to talk to others using terms they understand, to work together,
      and so on. But how much emphasis should be given to this issue, vs. the
      other two (material and problem solving)? I believe that more emphasis should
      be given to the material and problem-solving skills, because of several
      reasons: these are wider and deeper areas than cooperation skills, they
      are harder and less natural for the typical student, and they are things a
      typical student would not be able to learn "on the job".
      So my belief is that a university should spend some time on issue #3 - it
      *should* teach terminology, nomenclemature and methodology that make it easy
      for researchers in its field to cooperate, and it should give the students
      some practical experience in cooperating - in the form of some pair-work
      courses, some cooperative project, or whatever. But it is my belief that the
      university should NOT turn each and every course into an exercise of
      cooperation. The reason there are a few dozen courses in a degree is because
      there are a few dozen subjects that need to be learned - not because
      cooperation has to be exercised a few dozen times.

      And I mentioned that when cooperation (pair work) is encouraged, care must
      be taken not to let it run wild. If students can finish an entire course
      not doing anything while their friend (or 5 friends, in the absurd example
      I mentioned in my last mail) do their work for them, it is simply not fair.
      This isn't a big problem when there are just a few courses like that
      (especially when in the Technion's undergraduate courses, there is normally
      a test in the end and that isn't done in pairs at all), but if you "run wild"
      with the pair work idea, and every course is done completely in pairs,
      someone could concievably finish a degree without ever doing a thing, and
      without even violating any law (someone who buys solutions also can finish
      a degree without ever doing a thing - but at least this is considered illegal).

      I hope now you'll find that I answered your reasons. You don't have to agree
      with what I said, though ;-) Like I said, we can agree to disagree on this
      subject.

      --
      Nadav Har'El | Monday, Jun 4 2007, 19 Sivan 5767
      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |A professor is one who talks in someone
      http://nadav.harel.org.il |else's sleep.
    • Shlomi Fish
      Hi! Sorry for the late response. ... I think reason #1 (repharsed a bit) - to get knowlege is the most important one, followed by #2. Usually, #2 is seen as
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 19, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi!

        Sorry for the late response.

        On Monday 04 June 2007, Nadav Har'El wrote:
        > On Mon, Jun 04, 2007, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Solving
        Homework in Pairs":
        > > P.S: and just for the record - I still think I'm right when claiming it
        > > is a better idea to allow working in pairs. I find that Nadav has still
        > > avoided refuting my reasons.
        >
        > Ok, let's make one last attempt, even though I think I already answered
        > you.
        >
        > First, let's assume that you mean really "working in pairs" (because the
        > more common requirement is "handing in pairs" and nobody checks how you
        > worked).
        >
        > The reason one studies for a degree is, in my opinion, three-fold. ONE is
        > to learn material. TWO is to get experience in solving difficult problems
        > in your field (not necessarily the mundane problems you'll be asked to
        > solve in your first year on the job - a university is not a vocational
        > school). THREE is to "get on the same page" as the peers you'll be spending
        > your professional life with - learn how they think, how they talk, how they
        > cooperate, and so on.
        >

        I think reason #1 (repharsed a bit) - to get knowlege is the most important
        one, followed by #2. Usually, #2 is seen as means to understand and integrate
        this knowledge.

        > Issue #3 - learning how to cooperate with your peers in your professional
        > domain - is indeed important. You want future scientists and engineers to
        > be able to talk to others using terms they understand, to work together,
        > and so on. But how much emphasis should be given to this issue, vs. the
        > other two (material and problem solving)? I believe that more emphasis
        > should be given to the material and problem-solving skills, because of
        > several reasons: these are wider and deeper areas than cooperation skills,
        > they are harder and less natural for the typical student, and they are
        > things a typical student would not be able to learn "on the job".

        Right.

        > So my belief is that a university should spend some time on issue #3 - it
        > *should* teach terminology, nomenclemature and methodology that make it
        > easy for researchers in its field to cooperate, and it should give the
        > students some practical experience in cooperating - in the form of some
        > pair-work courses, some cooperative project, or whatever. But it is my
        > belief that the university should NOT turn each and every course into an
        > exercise of cooperation. The reason there are a few dozen courses in a
        > degree is because there are a few dozen subjects that need to be learned -
        > not because cooperation has to be exercised a few dozen times.

        What I said[1] (and you keep avoiding addressing) is that since the final exam
        is the lion's share of the grade, then a student who completely relied on his
        partner to prepare his exercises for him (and didn't otherwise study the
        material on his own) will likely fail the course. (Assuming the test is not
        fair, and other factors like that).

        {{{
        [1] - Point #1 in:

        http://www.shlomifish.org/philosophy/computers/education/opinion-on-the-technion/#why_pair_wise
        }}}

        So making the course pair wise, cannot cause a student to pass, because he
        relied on his partner to do his work his him, and thus get an undeserved
        grade.

        >
        > And I mentioned that when cooperation (pair work) is encouraged, care must
        > be taken not to let it run wild. If students can finish an entire course
        > not doing anything while their friend (or 5 friends, in the absurd example
        > I mentioned in my last mail) do their work for them, it is simply not fair.
        > This isn't a big problem when there are just a few courses like that
        > (especially when in the Technion's undergraduate courses, there is normally
        > a test in the end and that isn't done in pairs at all),

        Exactly. I wasn't talking about a course whose score is 100% dependent on pair
        work. By all means, a solitary test, on which most of the grade is based, is
        a good idea.

        > but if you "run
        > wild" with the pair work idea, and every course is done completely in
        > pairs, someone could concievably finish a degree without ever doing a
        > thing, and without even violating any law (someone who buys solutions also
        > can finish a degree without ever doing a thing - but at least this is
        > considered illegal).



        >
        > I hope now you'll find that I answered your reasons. You don't have to
        > agree with what I said, though ;-) Like I said, we can agree to disagree on
        > this subject.

        Regards,

        Shlomi Fish

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
        Homepage: http://www.shlomifish.org/

        If it's not in my E-mail it doesn't happen. And if my E-mail is saying
        one thing, and everything else says something else - E-mail will conquer.
        -- An Israeli Linuxer
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.