CFA CFA General The use of tech in the classroom

The use of tech in the classroom

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    • christine
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      Someone shared this with me recently and I thought I’d share it here – the change and advent of tech in the classroom. Us as CFA candidates do see this advent in terms of video lectures, e-books and so on. The self-study nature and cost-effectiveness of e-learning has made the CFA program particularly pioneering in this.

      Do you think our rate and method of adoption of tech in classrooms and learning is beneficial to students and learning in general?


      Credit to OnlineUniversities.com

    • AjFinance
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      Using technology for teaching does have pros and cons. Personally, I feel that its great as the the pros usually outweigh the cons. Online learning gives a great deal of flexibility, makes learning affordable and can reach more people than one can imagine. Other than that, it also makes learning effective alongwith aiding the teachers.

    • AjFinance
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      I have come across a few online websites which are great for self learners.

      http://www.khanacademy.org
      http://www.coursera.org
      http://www.code.org

    • fabian
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      Khan Academy is awesome.

    • hairyfairy
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      The temptation to get distracted is higher though. It’s Facebook and YouTube for me.

    • MattyJ
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      This reminded me of an article I ad a few years ago about Norway experimenting with exams taken electronically:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8027300.stm

      Personally I think this is the way forward. Take the CFA exams for example, you have to learned hundreds of formulas for exam day, but how many do you actually remember later on? Probably not that many. If you need to work out something in daily life then chances are you will look it up in a book or on the web.

      I think we will get to a point where knowledge is tested to a greater depth, with more emphasis being paced on the understanding behind the facts, and a requirement to undertake wider research to support your arguments. This would fit better with 21st century life.

      Cheating will always be a problem, and online exams are no different, but actually you could manage it much better. Computers can be programmed with software to record all activity undertaken throughout the test, so if you suspect cheating then it would be easy to go back and check. Furthermore software could easily identify certain trends etc…

      M

    • christine
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      I for one completely support electronic testing – as @mattjuniper says it’s just so much easier logistically, and so much cheaper for the testing body as well.

      I’m still a bit reserved about e-learning methods though. I think some providers to go overboard with this for the novelty of it. There are some benefits (e.g. video lectures and so on), but some of the things I’ve seen (e.g. e-flash cards) are a bit too ‘electronicky’ for my taste 🙂

    • AjFinance
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      I agree with @mattjuniper that there should be a greater emphasis on the understanding behind the facts. And the beauty of it is when you learn something that way, chances are that you won’t really forget it.

    • Sarah
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      I have my reservations of e-learning for all the flexibility it offers I wonder what the cost is. Even thought I am self-studying for the CFA and elected not to attend classroom sessions I am pretty sure the stuff I learned in my university gelled bettered in my mind than any video lecture ever can (especially if you had an awesome prof).

    • christine
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      @diya the question is if one is willing to pay the premium for classroom sessions, which would be way pricier than video lectures.

      For note-taking nothing beats good old scribbling for me though.

    • Sarah
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      @christine
      Basically we are trading of parts of education/culture with technology without fully grasping the cons (not enough information available to assess the cons) and not a long list of caveats. Also most of the benefits of the professor checking his e-mail daily or being active on social media means he is not doing more important things like developing better lessons plans? And how does social media help me learn in a better and faster way? Is being connected constantly even a good thing or does it create an information glut? Doesn’t the professor deserve a break?!

      How does more technology is the classroom help me learn better?

      Also I wish I could read the studies behind the numbers, under what circumstances did the students watching the video score better. Was it the delivery method or another factor – longer time between the video lesson and the test, giving students more time to digest the material? I am suspicious of numbers being thrown at me.

      Yes when it comes to down to the question of price – video lectures are the way to go but in the long run is that better – I like to say that it might not be. The material I learned in the classroom I remember with better clarity than the video lectures >.< This is just my opinion of education delivery in general and not my take on the best way to study for the CFA. (Also Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink I believe and the Movie Waiting for Superman talk about the Charter School's in America and how they have managed to help achieve remarkable scores for at-risk students. The emphasis was awesome teachers not the use of technology).

    • christine
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      Less distractions, more focus on the subject rather than novelties. Like I said I think tech has things to contribute, but like every new craze there is a tendency to focus on novelties to cash in on the buzz (e.g. ‘interactive white boards’). Over time the ones that prove useful will stay.

      With video I completely agree that the quality of teaching is worse, but the scalability is a very powerful factor. The Khan Academy is a great example – without YouTube there wouldn’t be a way to ‘mass-educate’ globally.

    • AjFinance
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      I agree with @Diya that a good professor goes a long way in conceptual clarity. However, I also believe that the effectiveness of any delivery method, whether classroom or virtual, also depends on the student’s willingness and focus to learn new things. More often than not, people who opt for online learning are not only those who are looking for a cheaper option, but also those who want to proactively improve their skills.

      As far as the question of considering the pros and cons, thats another subjective debate that might vary for different individuals. In other words, what works for one doesn’t work for others. For ex: If I consider that online learning is better as it offers me flexibility amidst not so great classroom options, there might be someone for whom classroom option works better as they feel more comfortable with a structured approach rather than a self directed online study plan.

      We can add more variables to weighing in the pros and cons, but its mostly answered subjectively (although there might a few which can be presented objectively). On the whole, I feel the use of innovation and technology augurs well for education as long as it is used and directed in a proper way.

    • christine
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      Individually, I doubt that most people would find video lectures better than the actual thing. But overall, like @AJFinance said technology when applied correctly will benefit a lot more people.

    • Sarah
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      Lets run test to assess the best way to use technology. This thread got me thinking, I wonder if there is a statistical difference in pass rate for people who self study using books/video and people who attend classes. There would also be a selection bias we’d have to work through.

      I personally don’t know anyone who opted for a classroom option for CFA but I do know people do preferred the classroom option for studying for the CA designation.

    • christine
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      We’ll need a lot of data to figure that one out 🙂 CFA classroom students in general are probably the minority.

    • Sophie Macon
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      I don’t know, probably a bit old school here. I’m ok with online learning and tech, as long as students dont have tablets in class themselves. Just imagining lots of people playing Plants vs. Zombies and no one is listening…

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