Optional "Time Management" Short Course for New Cadets

Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
105
Greetings,

Does anyone have information about an optional "Time Management" short course that WP offers to new cadets?

I read the following on the WPPC - Alaska website: " Time management is essential and to help plebes with developing good time management the Academy offers an optional short course on this subject for plebes. Encourage your cadet to sign up........ The Thayer method of instruction consists of study and application first with explanation later. This is a unique approach that usually creates frustration to students unfamiliar with it until they learn how to study in this manner."

Anything my homeschooled DS can learn that helps him to adapt to the unique education methodology of WP would be extremely helpful.

If anyone knows something about this course, please let me know, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
 

jl123

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,571
Greetings,

Does anyone have information about an optional "Time Management" short course that WP offers to new cadets?

I read the following on the WPPC - Alaska website: " Time management is essential and to help plebes with developing good time management the Academy offers an optional short course on this subject for plebes. Encourage your cadet to sign up........ The Thayer method of instruction consists of study and application first with explanation later. This is a unique approach that usually creates frustration to students unfamiliar with it until they learn how to study in this manner."

Anything my homeschooled DS can learn that helps him to adapt to the unique education methodology of WP would be extremely helpful.

If anyone knows something about this course, please let me know, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
You may be referring to RS 101, offered by USMA's Center for Enhanced Performance. Cadets placed in MA 100 Precalculus are automatically enrolled in RS 101. My understanding is that it is somewhat remedial in nature. However, it might be helpful for a homeschooled student not used to a traditional classroom experience.

From FAQ's for New Cadets and Parents on USMA website:

"USMA offers Plebes 3 elective courses offered by the Center for Enhanced Performance: RS 101, Student Success course, which includes study skills, time management, organization, test taking, confidence building, goal setting and a variety of other materials in only 20 lessons. RS 102, Reading Efficiency Course which in 10 lessons allows any cadet the opportunity to increase reading by at least 100 words per minute, without additional homework; RS 103, Information and Literacy and Critical Thinking, another 20 lesson course, touching on time management and is taught with library staff providing cadets an introduction to research at USMA and critical thinking. CEP also provides cadets with multiple appointments to meet their personal needs with academic and athletic programs at USMA."
 

jl123

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,571
The Thayer Method is basically teach yourself first, then get taught by the instructor.

For example, in Physics the sequence for a particular class might be:
  • Study assigned material
  • Complete assigned problem set
  • Next day in class Instructor teaches material and clarifies any difficulties students may have
 

bookreader

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
834
Anything my homeschooled DS can learn that helps him to adapt to the unique education methodology of WP would be extremely helpful.

I can answer this. My son was homeschooled and one thing I did to prepare him for college classes was to teach him how to take notes from a lecturer/teacher. I purchased a video lecture series (message me if you want those details) and he had to take notes from the lectures. I taught this as a class - 3 other high school seniors were in the class - at my home. We'd all watch the video and take notes. I then made up exams using my notes from the lecture. I also taught them different styles of note taking so they could decide what system worked best for them. I also showed them the research on memory retention by hand writing vs typing.
 

DDmom

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
363
Anything my homeschooled DS can learn that helps him to adapt to the unique education methodology of WP would be extremely helpful.

I can answer this. My son was homeschooled and one thing I did to prepare him for college classes was to teach him how to take notes from a lecturer/teacher. I purchased a video lecture series (message me if you want those details) and he had to take notes from the lectures. I taught this as a class - 3 other high school seniors were in the class - at my home. We'd all watch the video and take notes. I then made up exams using my notes from the lecture. I also taught them different styles of note taking so they could decide what system worked best for them. I also showed them the research on memory retention by hand writing vs typing.
The Thayer method is not taught this way. There are not lectures and note taking, like regular college, it is like explained above. It is a hard way to learn, and definitely takes some getting used too. Another thing that is difficult is that in addition to this new way of learning they also have so many other responsibilities. So time management is a serious concern, maybe this class helps them figure this out.
 

bookreader

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
834
@DDmom - I wan't implying that this is how the Thayer method works. I was simply pointing out how I prepared my son for college classes. Note taking is a skill that not all learn in school and this is esp the case for homeschooled students since they may not be in a traditional classroom very often.
 

MidwestDad

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
613
However they get it time management is critical to success [and survival] at USMA.

DS was a 3 sport athlete for 4 years of HS and I think this plus heavy honors and AP class load put him right in the groove for typical USMA schedule.

Limited goof off time and if its spent on Netflix etc bad things follow. Goes beyond the teach/study methods but need all good advice above.
 

npk13

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
11
The short course you are referring to is RS101-103 which has been mentioned above. They advertised it to us during Beast as a study skills and reading course, but like everything, there are pros and cons for
taking it.

Pros:
- It does improve reading speed by forcing students to practice on actual homework assignments from other classes as well as additional materials
- Students who struggle with time management or are on a time-intensive sports team learn techniques to prepare them for Thayer weeks (weeks when almost every
class has an assessment or assignment due)

Cons:
- These half semester courses doesn't count for any credit
- You have to have an extra class period open to take this, so often times, the more productive thing is to have the free period to work instead of going to another class

One of my friends took just the first part (RS101) and learned a little but decided the time commitment and extra assignments weren't enough to keep going through the course. Some students may be required to take this course because of grades or because of a team requirements.

If you are interested in preparing for the Thayer method ahead of time, it is a little difficult but very possible to incorporate some elements. The Thayer method is the idea of learning the lesson before coming to class so that the class period is more of a review of topics and a time to ask the instructor questions about the lesson. While in theory this sounds efficient, it fails for classes such as math where it is very tough to learn the complex ideas ahead of time to the level where you can ask coherent questions in class. However, this method worked amazingly for my history classes which featured a better discussion time because cadets (supposedly) learned the lesson the night before. Notes are key!! Maybe start by preparing for your classes this way and see how it goes. Good luck!
 
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