Roberson – Class Overview

I do wish the class was in the twice a week, hour and 15 per class format. This was my first time taking a 2 and a half hour lecture and while it was nice to have it on Monday and “get it out of the way,” it’s that exact mentality that has not suited me so well. I best retain information I learned during lecture, during class time. However, having class only once a week, my attention turns towards my other class and research throughout the week. Once the quizzes started, almost instantly did my morale flee from me. I understand the purpose of the quizzes were essentially “learning checks” to try and help ensure we were grasping the material, but boy I won’t grasping nothing but L’s all semester. I appreciate the grace in letting us drop our three lowest quiz grades, I just wish my five highest were something worth being proud of. What would happen is, either we would take a quiz at the beginning of class and I would knowingly not perform as well as I wanted, or we would get back our quiz grade from the previous week (or both) and that simply would not be the mood booster I needed to optimize learning for that day.

But enough on my quiz sob story. The class itself and much of the material was interesting. I didn’t expect to learn as much about racial disparities, inequalities, and inequities in health as I did. At it stands now, I’m not sure exactly what my expectations were in general at the beginning of the class. Much of the material I felt I was pretty well versed in beforehand, but only at a surface level. That is, I could talk about it with a degree of confidence, but I lacked depth in my understanding of concepts and of course theories. The theories and models were/are the most difficult part of the class for me. Other than the biopsychosocial model, I do not think I can very well explain many of the theories and models we’ve learned such as the Trans Theoretical Model or The Health Beliefs Model. I imagine it will surely be in my best interest to touch up on these prior to the final exam, and I will, but I am just speaking candidly. Had I been able to spend more time on these concepts outside of class and/or had we had time to go through more examples and spend slightly longer on the more pertinent theories/concepts in class, I don’t doubt I would be better off grade wise in the class, but I would also have a greater breadth of knowledge.

I don’t feel I need to speak much to the Longevity Project book and blog posts considering we did it all semester. What I will say is that due to the book’s tendency to be repetitive at some points, I might suggest to you, Professor Nonterah, to select your favorite chapters or those that you feel are the most intriguing/worth reading and discussing. Of course, it never hurts to read a whole book, this is just my suggestion and perhaps it’ll help with focusing in more and having a deeper discussion about points and findings in the study.

But now we’re at the home stretch. I’m glad we’re doing this qualitative research paper because I’ve only done one qualitative paper up until this point in my undergrad career and in that one I did not have to transcribe the whole interviews. Now I know the pain of this. But it often makes for great research so that is not a complaint. I look forward to finishing and finalizing my paper.

Thank you for your time, effort, and patience during the semester.

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4 Responses to Roberson – Class Overview

  1. Natalie Szumel says:

    I can really relate to your comments about the class structure–I definitely thought it would be cool to have a 2.5 hour lecture, but in reality, it’s a struggle. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I was always so bummed during class, but you definitely pegged it: the quizzes getting returned! It was always disheartening to either take or get a quiz back just knowing that I didn’t get to the meat of what I was being asked to.

    I mostly agree with your assessment of the class material that we covered. Yeah, a lot of it was really cool and interesting, but there were some aspects of the class that I didn’t really see how psychology fit into it. That persistent feeling was a little upsetting at times just because biology is not my strong suit.

    I like your idea of picking a few meaningful chapters as that will keep the uniqueness of the book up. Reading too many chapters just diluted my interest in the topic and made it more of a chore than something I wanted to read.

  2. Amelia Updike says:

    I also agree that the format of this class is not ideal. I thought I wouldn’t mind having a 2.5 hour lecture, but in reality I find myself having a hard time paying attention for that long. I also agree with your mentality about the quizzes. Most times I was just trying to memorize the information for these quizzes rather than really comprehend the material. I do appreciate that the quizzes kept us on track, but overall I think maybe a quick discussion at the beginning of class as a review and then taking the quiz would have been much more beneficial and would allow the class to ask questions.
    I agree with your second paragraph and how it would be beneficial to receive more explanation and examples in regards to the theories. That was definitely the most difficult portion of the class and I felt like we did not go into quite enough depth.
    I completely agree with you that the Longevity Project was very repetitive. I honestly did not enjoy reading this book and it did not develop into the book I thought it would, so frankly I was left pretty disappointed. I think a much better book could be chosen for this class, perhaps one that discusses health disparities and race because that seemed to be a more reoccurring theme in the class.

  3. Brittany Woo says:

    I do not think I was as dissapointed in the Longevity Project as you were as I do find the novel somewhat beneficial to someone who has no base knowledge of health psychology. It is a good “Beach read” or vacation novel. However as critical thinkers at a liberal arts college, the novel is not as well suited for us in terms of supplenting the class.

    Similar to those above and you, my thought process about wanting to take a class that occurred once a week as the same. I wanted to free up my schedule at the end of the week. However looking back, I wish the class was either 2.5 hours long in the middle of the week or it occurred twice a week in order to better digest the content and balance out studying for quizzes.

  4. Maya Wright says:

    I do agree with you that I wish the class was twice a week for an hour and 15 minutes. It was hard for me to stay engaged the whole class period and I got easily distracted during the lectures. I also agree with you about the quizzes. I understood the meaning of them, but especially with the quizzes being on a Monday sometimes I would procrastinate and not study until Sunday night, and with the amount of material we learned each class period it is hard to cram for the quizzes (which I learned the hard way). I also agree that sometimes when I got my quiz score back I would have no motivation to pay attention in class because of my score.

    In terms of the Longevity Project, I agree that it would be beneficial to read certain chapters of the book rather than the whole thing. This would allow more time to cover more information in lab sessions and it would reduce the amount of repetitiveness in the book. I thought the book was interesting in some chapters, but I think the repetitiveness of the book was what made me dislike it.

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