Hands-on assignments VS. writing papers? Which do you prefer?

@maezee (37728)
United States
March 23, 2013 11:08am CST
Wow, this is my second semester at a community college. My first year was at a state university, by the way. During this semester I’m taking History to Rock N Roll, Intro to Mass Communications, Children’s Literature, Environmental Biology, and Minnesota History. Last semester I took a garden variety of other classes, and none of them had “hands on” assignments – it was all writing papers, researching, reading, etc. Now why is it for this semester, these assignments are completely high-school-y and unconventional? They are actually “hands on” assignments. Maybe because I’m taking the classes online, the teachers want me to have to get out and about. I don’t know. But here are some examples of upcoming assignments: *Music Class: Must go to 2 concerts by end of semester and review the musical aspects of the performances and the venue *Environmental Biology: Must do a 5 hour “biological community summary” – where I sit outside and observe interactions between plants, animals, and insects *Minnesota History: Must go to some historical site in Minnesota, take a tour, and write a total evaluation and historical paper about it. What’s up with this? I’ve never taken a group of classes that all had “hands on” assignments before. I like it, but I am much better at writing than being hands-on. Ha ha. Have you ever had an nontraditional college assignment like this? What was it? Do you prefer this or writing papers?
5 responses
• Philippines
26 Mar 13
I remember one parent complained that her child was somehow coerce into a field trip because it was compulsory tp for the subject. but that experience is very great for me and the my classmates since we also have some extra time together and we have time to fool around even though it is a class activity or requirement. Personally, I prefer writing papers but that too can be boring and tiresome., especially if many teacher go by this route. i think one filed activity ids better since it does force one out of a classroom. I admit that some of your assignments might really end up as a total ore and perhaps a waste of time and money. But in the end, it's a requirement and I guess we have to take some fun in doing it.
@nyssa102 (748)
• United States
25 Mar 13
Hands on? Oh Wow. I really like the way they are doing things with this Hands on that you are describing. I really like it. I mean this. I must think on this as I love to write. But here we go. I am thinking that I would prefer the hands on, I think you learn so much more from observation, than always and always writing on what others have done. With hands on you are doing, not just reading. I think it is a good thing.
@abhi333 (407)
• India
24 Mar 13
I think both hands-on assignments and writing papers have specific purposes and hence both play an important role in a person's education. The main benefit of a hands-on job is that you actually get to do things and you learn from your experience. I feel that learning from experience is a better way because in that way you get to know that where have you made a mistake and what is a proper way to do the thing. So, i prefer hands-on assignments over writing papers
@Raine38 (9201)
• United States
23 Mar 13
The state university that I went to back in Manila was very traditional. I took a bachelor's degree in Accountancy so that means it will almost be boring most of the time. We did get to have some hands-on assignment during our senior year but it is almost a preparation for the board exam and actual employment so it wasn't really as fun as we expected it to be.
@sedel1027 (17851)
• United States
23 Mar 13
I like the hands on projects more because I get to be creative and you actually learn through exposure. i can easily BS my way through a paper. writing a paper doesn't show the teacher that you even understand what you are writing about.When I took Intro to Mass Comm the majority of our projects were hands on. Based on your course list, I'm not surprised any of them are more hands on assignments vs writing. All of those courses would be terribly boring if you were only writing papers.