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At this time of year when most of us are forced to correlate and memorize the elements of some 35 lectures in four or five courses, and accomplish the task in two days or less, we begin to appreciate the value of the so-called "review of the course". The CRIMSON believes that this admirable aid toward obtaining the proper perspective in almost any course is by no means employed to the extent it should be. Let us briefly examine the arguments for and against the practice.
In the first place there is little doubt that the professor can present a far better working synopsis of his courses than any members of that course can prepare for themselves. No matter how many pages of notes they take, they will fail to obtain the emphasis on the important points which the professor could present at the conclusion of his treatment of the subject. We consider the comprehensive reviews as now presented in several courses merely a summing up, a retrospection, in no sense a "first aid" to those who have not done the regular work. The very fact that a man has not carefully followed the lectures and the reading bars him from deriving much benefit from a summary of subjects he has never touched.
In the second place, many students, either from sickness or other legitimate causes, are compelled to miss several lectures in the series. Copying others' notes is not always satisfactory and if the topic is important, is often misunderstood in relation to other topics. Thirdly, without expressing an opinion as to the usefulness of tutors in general, we think much expense is saved when instructors offer a voluntary review of the course as a whole. Many men go to tutors merely to have the frequent jumble of facts (which often results after 35 lectures) rearranged and to ask questions. Why could not such an opportunity be offered by the course itself? We point out Economics 18 as a course where a review of this sort would go far toward raising the average mark.
Lastly, and perhaps most important of all, is the unique fact that with the approach of examinations and eagerness for academic pursuits pervades the undergraduate atmosphere. The reviews offered are attended by practically the whole course, as Philosophy A recently demonstrated. Such eagerness should be satisfied; left the Faculty recognize a possible opportunity to increase the efficiency of its teaching.
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