think carefully about course outcome from learner's perspective
You may have to do a mental little work on what you want from the course(s) to determine if the course is a project with sub-projects or an area of focus with several projects within.
I think it would help if you conceived of an array of outcomes for each course and wrote them out, albeit tentatively at first. While a good grade is desirable, that is really only a bench mark and there can be so much more.
Here are some examples, some unique to the subject matter-- but you will get the idea.
to see the everyday world from the viewpoint of mathematical laws
to become more at ease or maybe even proficient with quantitative reasoning
to have sufficient background to be be prepared of physical chem
to finally apply the calc I struggled with
to understand the arch in St Louise as written about by Osserman
or to get this premed requirement out of the way but retain enough for the mcats, and for understanding the electrophysiology of the brain (because I think I want to be a neurologist and treat seizure disorders)
to meet this requirement while I have time to do so
to develop a musical vocabulary that I can use in other areas
(advanced) to learn to compose in the style of ____, even although I hate that style
to develop comfort with concepts from the softer side of social science as demonstrated in a paper on _______, I know a lot about from a tough-minded perspective.
to learn about the human potential movement which I have heard has filtered into a lot of management training programs, what are the pitfalls, advantages, ethics?
to have enough basic skill to put on my resume
to have enough skill to be the treasurer of the ski club
For a course taught by a famous person: to have a chance to be exposed the thinking of _________ whose critical reviews I have tried to read but only get the gist of.
Really almost anything goes but be honest with yourself. Education is so expensive and so valuable. A really good academic advisor can help you by asking probing questions and may also know how well-aligned the course might be with your goals or can refer you to someone who is. Even big state universities have people who can help in this way if you search for them.
It is wise to read and reflect on the purposes outlined by the instructor, as stated in the syllabus or the catalog. Some 101s are for people who will go on to major in that discipline and some are not. Some are more focused on quality of your mastery (art and design), some quantity (some psych classes are designed about mastering units--the more units you master, the higher your grade.
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