Opinion: College for dummies

Opinion: College for dummies

Opinion: College for dummies

Robert Thomas Young

Overall, college is definitely getting easier in order to attract more students and more money. However, there is also a flip side to this argument. Are some classes really too hard? And, if so, how does that impact your learning?

According to research right here in Kent State’s psychology department, there are methods of teaching and quizzing that actually encourage long-term retention.

Most notable is the “testing effect,” a phenomenon in which repeated testing fosters higher long-term retention than repeated studying. This is the idea behind the clicker quizzes.

Weekly quizzes and intermittent testing give students not just the ability to store information, but the practice of retrieving it. The act of testing is essentially a learning tool.

In other words, tests can have more usefulness as a learning mechanism than as a method of grading. So, you really have to ask the question, why do some professors only give two or three large exams? Some classes could be easier, and students could retain more information.

I enjoy the majority of my classes, and I feel the workload is appropriate for the most part. However, more time and energy could be put into improving retention and interest in every class.

College should draw a healthy line between challenging students and reinforcing them. I think that Kent State still offers a well-rounded education. However, I’m worried that bachelor degrees in general will not carry the same weight if higher education continues to prioritize fundraising instead of scholarship.