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 iSci Feedback

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Prateek Gupta
Admin


Posts : 408
Join date : 2009-12-23
Age : 26

PostSubject: iSci Feedback   Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:14 pm

Hello,

As Chad mentioned, Carolyn wants all the students in iSci to submit their views in iSci. Specifically, she is asking for 3 pros and 3 challenges regarding iSci. Please speak your mind, and answer this individually regardless of the views of others. These opinions can be regarding the academics, structure of the program, time allocated, our resources, labs, the teaching style, and overall perception of the Integrated Science program.

Post this on the forum under the format... PROS, and the 3, and CHALLENGES, and the 3 ideas. (if you have less or more than 3, this is OK), be as precise or as specific as you like.

Regards,

Prateek.

PS. If you want this to be confidential, send your opinions to guptapk@mcmaster.ca or the Carolyn Eyles, but please send an e-mail memo to me to ensure that your opinions have been regarded.
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Nicholas Pun



Posts : 164
Join date : 2009-12-24
Location : Keyes, 413!

PostSubject: pros/cons of isci   Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:16 pm

3 pros
1. I like the amount of attention due to the low amount of people, and the type of relationship we have with the "iTeach" as well as the learning environment that "encourages" the student to ask questions to learn.
2. the Research Projects; i like how they're pertinent to the current world, very multidisciplinary on the most part and allows certain group members to show off their strengths, as well as improve their weaknesses with the help of others in the group
3. I like the diversity of the labs we get to perform, especially the labs that are "isci exclusive" those are the ones that I found most interesting like the 'physiological effects of caffeine on daphnia" and the "cootes paradise ecological survey in the first week"

3 challenges
1. class hours; i think most of us agree that esp. in first term that it felt like we had an absurd amount of class time on top of a lot of project work that we had to do on our own time
2. studying for one's least favourite discipline/writing a precis for most people; self-explanatory, i found getting the motivation to study for a discipline that one dislikes the hardest, since we thought htat university was going to be about focussing on the subjects that we truly loved
3. The last week of an RP; these always seem rushed, no matter how much work you did in the first week or how well you have planned; especially if this last week coincides with the mid-terms
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Jyssika Russell



Posts : 138
Join date : 2010-01-11
Location : McMaster

PostSubject: Re: iSci Feedback   Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:29 pm

ooh, I already posted a feedback option under the conference topic. I thought it would be the most clear. Thoughts?
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not a person



Posts : 150
Join date : 2010-01-12
Age : 24

PostSubject: feedback   Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:51 am

I know Jyssika has another one somewhere else...but I'm posting here

3 pros
1. comeraderie among students-everyone is helpful, friendly to others (in part helped by istudy)
2. large student:faculty ratio and close contact with professors who are helpful and open to feedback on the program (in part facilitated by 3rd floor of Thode)
3. opportunities normally unavailable to first year students, such as interesting labs, but especially research projects

3 challenges
1. limited choice for electives: because ISCI 1A24 takes up so much time, elective options are reduced
2. reduced opportunity to meet students in other programs-because of the emphasis on groupwork and time spent with isci, it may be difficult for students to meet and associate with others (especially for those living off campus)
3. vague information concerning current grades, how assignments will be marked, significance of individual assignments, weigthtings, etc.
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Adam Pantaleo



Posts : 91
Join date : 2010-01-14

PostSubject: Re: iSci Feedback   Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:49 pm

Three pros:
1. This year, there's only 39 of us. We all know each other, and we all know our professors (and they know us too!). That's awesome. The small class size of iSci really helps with learning. There's always someone in the iStudy if I need some help, and if I need to talk to someone from iTeach, their offices are literally 20 seconds away.
2. Evidently, the integrated approach to learning! This program allows me to experience all of the sciences and explore how they relate. I really think this is beneficial. I believe that my critical thinking and inquiry skills are drastically improving, and the program is only one term in!
3. iSci is fun! Our lectures are informative and entertaining. We get to experience things that most first year student's don't get to (i.e. we have the iStudy, we went on a field trip to the ROM, and we went on a tour of the nuclear reactor!). Our many labs help us to learn and explore science even further. We're all friends with each other, and we share our stresses and our triumphs. Overall, iSci has been such a rewarding experience so far, and the future looks equally bright.

Three cons:
1. Time, or lack therof. We have more hours of class than most students, and we also have the research projects and those little assignments to do. The time issue seems to be improving this term, but I think it's still too early to tell. I'm a slow learner - I need time to study my notes, read the textbook, and do practice problems. Sometimes, especially during the "crunch times" of the RPs, I feel like I don't have enough time to learn effectively - in a way, studying gets replaced by the projects.
2. I've found that some of the iConS present a lot of content in a relatively short period of time. Because of my learning style, these lectures aren't very beneficial to me - I find myself getting lost often, or not understanding the concepts.
3. Certain aspects of the program sometimes appear to "lack direction," especially in the research projects. I've often asked the question, "What exactly am I supposed to do?" Sometimes, even after asking for clarification from iTeach, I still feel a bit unsure.
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Helen Guo



Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-01-15
Age : 25
Location : keyes 501

PostSubject: feedback   Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:33 pm

Pros
1. Close comeraderie among students who are always available to support their peers.
2. Integration is cool, especially RPs.
3. Keeping um keeping my options open, which is not redundant

Challenges
1. Large quantities of work interfere with social and extracurricular activities
2. Time spent in class very strictly regulates students' schedules
3. small class size means I often have to work with the same person, despite negative past experiences

-Helen Guo
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Dora Rosati



Posts : 13
Join date : 2010-01-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: iSci Feedback   Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:57 pm

Pros:
1) Small class full of great people who all have similar learning objectives.
2) Lots of individual attention from the profs.
3) Combining concepts from different disciplines makes them more interesting, engaging and relevant.

Cons:
1) Extremely difficult to manage combined workload from projects, content of five scientific disciplines, labs/prelabs, etc., especially since much of our time is spent in class.
2) Very little to no time is left to concentrate on elective courses. This may make it more difficult to get a minor in something not science-related, and generally takes away from a well-rounded university education. It is also nearly impossible to do extracurriculars or maintain a social life.
3) High stress levels associated with the program.
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Jordan Goodridge



Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-01-14

PostSubject: Re: iSci Feedback   Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:35 pm

Pros:
1. Intimacy with professors and other iSci students. It makes such a difference when you know your professor on a first name basis – and they know you the same way. It makes it a lot easier to ask questions, inside or outside of class. As well as the amount of attention from the professors, it is good that we get to know the other iSci students so intimately; thus, we know everyone’s working patterns, and we aren’t afraid to ask others for help.
2. The variety of subjects that we touch upon. It really gives iSci students a feeling of what subjects they enjoy and are good at, yet gives the students a broad range of information that can be helpful in the future.
3. Research Projects are, for the most part, very interesting. They get you thinking of real world applications, and gives you an idea of your interests. They're also good because they weigh a lot, so putting a lot of work into them generally results in a boost of your final mark. And you get to work with others, which is always interesting in itself.

Challenges
1. The fact that you have to take all of the sciences, even in the upper years. For instance, there are certain sciences I already know I would like to focus on. I would prefer not to have to take certain courses in upper years that don't necessarily interest me as much - sometimes, it would be nice if we could pick and choose.
2. Time management – with so much information being covered, and so many hours of class per week, it’s difficult to find the time in which to do it all. This requires a great deal of prioritizing and, at times, making sacrifices.
3. Working in groups. It is challenging to split up the work, to write papers together, etc.
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Prateek Gupta
Admin


Posts : 408
Join date : 2009-12-23
Age : 26

PostSubject: Re: iSci Feedback   Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:59 pm

Thanks for all those who posted, I'll be sending these off to Carolyn.

If you have any more feedback about the iSci program, please post them here!

Regards
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