Learning Diary – Lecture 2

Howdy!

Now that school is back in session and the first week of this semester is behind us, both the organization of our classes and the expectations of our professors are finally starting to feel a bit more clear. This week we were introduced to the neuronal membrane, the structure of the brain as well as the propagation of messages across synapses.

Although understanding the composition of a membrane and the four tiers of protein structure are vital to understanding both their function and their value in the transmission of signals between neurons, we felt that perhaps just a tad too much of our class time was spent on reviewing these topics instead of discussing for example, the details of the phases of an action potential pulse or an example of how concentrations of potassium or the voltage in the membrane can be calculated. With this being said, for those that are taking this course with a background that is not so heavily based in biology, it was necessary and understandable that some review of cell and molecular structures might need to be done.

This week was also our first quiz and although we did our best completing the required reading assignment and reviewing our notes it would have been nice to see the topics of the quiz be covered at least a little in the previous lecture. It also felt as if the questions were very heavily weighted toward one part of the reading material and not the other (which is okay) but then makes us wonder whether in the future the quizzes will only be based on the readings from Iiro’s book..?

We also had the opportunity this week to build a model brain during our exercise session which was a pretty fun and interactive way to get hands-on with the structures of the brain. We were also able to almost complete the homework assignment during this session which was really convenient although it did seem a little tedious to spend so much time directly copying tables from the textbook into the answer for the third problem. This might be a great way for certain people to learn information but maybe next time we could be given the option of whether to do this task during the session instead of have it be a requirement for the homework for the week? That way those of us who learn better through just reading them via the book could avoid spending so much time copying vocabulary.

Looking forward to seeing what will be discussed in next week’s lecture as we slowly start to connect the dots between the delicate structures and complex abilities of the human brain.

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