Spring and Summer are the perfect times to get ahead in your learning. One way to do that is by registering for an accelerated course, an intensive class aimed at immersing students in a subject, often for a week.
Medical science student Katie Klassen put her learning of Clinical Epidemiology on fast forward last summer after transferring to Brock from another university.
Katie tells us in her own words how taking an accelerated course helped her stay on track toward finishing her degree.
I registered for HLSC 4P99 Clinical Epidemiology for two reasons: First, I was a transfer student from the University of Oklahoma and wanted to complete my degree as efficiently as possible. Many required classes at Brock are only offered once a year in the fall or winter semester. Because HLSC 4P99 was being offered as an accelerated course in the spring, I had the flexibility to take additional required courses in the winter semester.
Secondly, I was intrigued by the prospect of an accelerated learning experience. Having a compressed schedule meant there wasn’t time to be distracted and it was easy to stay motivated. Since my focus was undivided, I was more engaged in the class than I would have been if it had been one of several I was taking at the same time. I was retaining the information I learned each day, which made applying it to the next day’s lesson easier.
The class was structured so that we’d have lecture from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 5 p.m. with a break for lunch. Evaluation consisted of daily clicker participation and tutorial quizzes along with a written diagnostic assignment and final exam. There was no textbook for the class. All quizzes were based on articles that we were assigned each day.
The course aims to teach students about the research process and how to critically evaluate clinical research. We were taught how to determine the validity of a diagnostic tool when clinical trials publish contradicting research.
This class requires diligence. You have to use your time wisely and stay organized. Your evenings are spent reading articles for the next day’s quiz and going over lecture material. It restricts your life outside of school, but you have to keep in mind that it’s only for a week. I was able to continue training with the Brock rowing team, but I had to cut down on my hours for the week.
A huge reason this class was a successful learning experience had to do with the instructor, Dr. Brent Faught. His enthusiasm was amazing. The class was relatively small, with less than 50 students. Dr. Faught was always available to help whether by email or during breaks. There was no reason to fall behind in class. Dr. Faught wants his students to succeed and he’ll work hard to help you understand course concepts.
I’m thankful that Brock tries to accommodate students and offers different kinds of learning experiences. The accelerated class fosters an intense focus that promotes effective learning. I would take another accelerated class in a heartbeat.
Katie Klassen is in her final year of Medical Science.