Voice Complaints about Prof. Stangl 36-225 Section A
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1. Wasted Class Time with Unhelpful Teaching
Professor Stangl started the semester with a flipped classroom teaching style, which she defined as reading course material before class and working through examples in class. However, there existed two problems. 1) Before each class, she gave quizzes on material assigned the night before. She showed no consideration for students who may not have understood the material by reading on their own, and she does not see that it is her responsibility to fully explain the material before she tests the student's understanding. This is not an English class where a professor can simply quiz on comprehension. It is a mathematics and logic based statistics course. 2) Professor Stangl worked examples in class after giving a quiz, but many of the lectures, she either asks the TAs to do all the calculation, which defies her purpose as the professor, and explanation or she confuses herself at doing the problem and makes a mistake.
After many students complain that they have learned nothing during lectures, Professor Stangl started teaching in class. However, Professor Stangl utilizes class time to repeat formulas and proofs in the textbook without giving any examples as support. Most recently, she constantly allocated more than half of the class time to either give answers to practices (with no explanation) that she could have posted on Canvas or pass back homework assignments. Very little of her teaching has enhanced the student's learning and understanding of the subject.
2. Exam Difficulty Level Exceed Practice and Class Materials Given
Recently, we took our first midterm for the course. However, 1) The midterm does not reflect the difficulty of the homework assignments and practice exams. For more than one question on the exam, the question type was never given as an example or an exercise before the exam, and some of the questions asked about concepts that was given minimal attention during lectures and on assignments. Specifically, it is unfair to give practice exams that each contain 30% Poisson Distribution questions and then does not even mention Poisson Distribution on the midterm. Overall, the difficulty of the exam exceeded expectation, and the focus of the exam was uncorrelated with the focus of materials and assignments given as practice.
**) it is also noteworthy to mention that many answers given for the practice midterm were incorrect or incomplete.
3. Defunct Methods are Taught instead of Utilizing Modern Technology
One of best aspect about education at CMU is teaching students to use the most effective tools and technology. However, Professor Stangl chose to prohibit even the use of basic calculators. As a result, students waste more time trying to calculate by hand the value of [1372/1685] and the integral value between 0.3 to 0.6 of [ (1/36)y^6-(1/108)y^10 ] rather than focusing on understanding the core concept of the problem. There is no reason why students cannot use a calculator to perform unnecessarily complicated calculations, and there is no reason to reduct points for not calculating the decimal form of [1372/1685] by hand in limited time.
4. Inequality between 36-225 Sections
Presumably, although the 36-225 course is separated into two sections, the material taught and the difficulty level should be approximately the same. However, there is apparent inequality between the two sections of 36-225. For Section B of 36-225, students reflect that the lectures are informative, the material is easy to understand, and the exam reflects the difficulty of the practices given beforehand. In contrast, most students in Professor Stangl's section (excluding those who have had exposure the material before) are confused at the concepts, spent multiple hours on homework problems due before each class, and express extreme dissatisfaction towards the professor. Currently, section B has an midterm average of 95%. However, after Professor Stangl's midterm on Tuesday night, the entire first and second floor of Doherty Hall rang with sounds of complaint and confusion. The contrast between the sections is blatant.
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