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Author Topic: One day Tech course - good/bad ???  (Read 11449 times)
K8PRG
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2015, 12:45:42 PM »

I'm against them.

The problem is that while a cram course may get someone a license, it won't get them the know-how they need to use it.

73 de Jim, N2EY

I'm walking proof that you don't REALLY get to know much til after you get your license.
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K0RGR
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2015, 01:07:43 PM »

I teach Technician and General level classes. Right now, it's evolved into a three day course for the Tech. We do three Saturdays in a row,
from 10-5, and I have lunch brought in so we can work through the lunch hour. In that time, we cover everything in the License Manual with ease.  Is it everything I think they should know? Not at all - and time permitting, they get to learn a number of useful things, like how to solder a coax connector.

The classes take place in my hamshack/classroom - a big 'bonus room' in my house that I've loaded with ham gear and a big screen TV that I use in place of a projector.  The only downside is that I'm too tempted to turn around and turn on the radios to demonstrate something when I get a question - so I have three big clocks on the walls to keep us on schedule! But all my graduates get to see various kinds of ham radio - including CW and digital. I have lots of things to pass around, and some great videos I've collected over time.

We did this class as a one day class for a long time, and it was just too rushed. We can do it in two, but it makes for some terribly long days.
The tradeoff is finding a time when all my students can be there for three days - sometimes, it's challenging, even with so few days. When we did this as an 8 week class years ago, we'd have a dropout rate of over 50%. Now, dropouts are rare, and so are people who fail the test, though I've lost a few potential students who weren't available for the sessions.

I do not teach the questions at all - it's up to the students to read the book and work on the questions on their own.  We usually have a VE session in the week following the last day of class, and there are lots of VE sessions in the area, too.

The last time I taught the class, I took the time to weed out everything that is not actually covered on the exam, or needed to understand the exam questions. If you haven't critically reviewed the test questions lately, I recommend it, you may be surprised at what's missing, and what's been added! By eliminating some of that stuff, I think I've made it much easier for younger students.
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KB6NU
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2016, 09:43:11 AM »

I teach one-day Tech classes here, and I have to say that they've been very successful, not only in getting folks licensed, but getting people on the air. My philosophy is to get folks their license as quickly as possible and then let them learn by doing, not by sitting in a class falling asleep.

Someone said above that one-day Tech classes shortchange the students. I disagree. Even 21 hours of instruction just barely scratch the surface of what ham radio is all about. The only way you can learn to be an amateur radio operator is by doing things, not sitting in a class.

In addition, I consider myself to be Elmer of each and every one of my students, and I tell them so. Those that are truly interested in amateur radio will avail themselves of that and I give them the help that they need to get on the air and have fun with ham radio.

The proof of the pudding is that you can't check into a net or go to an amateur radio event around here and not meet one of my students. These are people that are doing all kinds of fun ham radio stuff. I'm proud of that.
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ONAIR
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2016, 01:04:53 AM »

Not good.  Way too many people are just memorizing the tests now.
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AA4HA
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2016, 09:20:51 AM »

You might get away with a one day class for students who purchased the book a few weeks beforehand and actually studied it with the same intensity that we were all supposed to give to classes in high school or college. Then you already have some basics to work with.

Better is the two days, one week apart (Saturdays with a 4-6 hour class each day). Tied with the expectation that they are to actually read the book when they go home.

Any moron can memorize, and we have entirely too many morons (of every class) in amateur radio. Even if they "grok" 1/2 of what they really need to know they are off to a good start.

So I would do a Saturday..... homework over the week.... Saturday (with a VE session on the evening of the second day for the brave)... another week of reading for those less confident or those who fail the first VE... then another short refresher and second VE session on the third Saturday.

Depending upon the instructors and the dedication of the students you should get 50-75% pass rates on the Technician license.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f
KC2QYM
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2016, 09:32:22 AM »

I wouldn't hold any classes for amateur radio licensing at all.  If someone wants to be a ham they can buy the study materials and any other ARRL publications that do a good job of exposing Amateur radio to the reader.  They can approach a radio club and perhaps hook up with a number of hams who might be interested in guiding the person toward some exposure to the hobby.  Otherwise, too many idiots are on the air already.
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ONAIR
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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2016, 04:37:25 PM »

I wouldn't hold any classes for amateur radio licensing at all.  If someone wants to be a ham they can buy the study materials and any other ARRL publications that do a good job of exposing Amateur radio to the reader.  They can approach a radio club and perhaps hook up with a number of hams who might be interested in guiding the person toward some exposure to the hobby.  Otherwise, too many idiots are on the air already.
  But without classes, they might be tempted to just memorize the questions and answers!!   Cry
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KA4GFY
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« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2016, 04:23:42 AM »

I am not a big believer in the one weekend "crash" courses.  The students don't have enough time to really learn the material before moving on to the next area. 

Our club does the traditional 8 to 10 week class, with the exam at the end.  This allows students to read the book.  Everybody gets to know the the instructors and other students.  We encourage people to ask questions.

We want the students to have the opportunity to learn the material so they are prepared for whatever questions are on the test.  We do not teach the test.  But, we encourage everybody to do the questions in the book pertaining to that chapter.  So, when they get to the test, they have seen the questions.

Most importantly, our pass rate is in excess of 90%.

73,
Rich, KA4GFY

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KD7YIM
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2016, 06:43:21 PM »

I've taught 15 or 20 one-day Tech Fast Classes and have about a 95% pass rate among people who read the book ahead of time.  That's the key, they have to learn a little lingo and have a little familiarity with the material before the class.  I use the Gordon West book as I think the ARRL material is dry, dry, dry and it reads like a college textbook.   And it handicaps people before they start.  It handicapped me when I got my license and I already had some electronics/radio background!

I call mine a Fast Class, not a Cram.  It takes about 3 hours to just read/Cram the questions and answers, seen it done that way, didn't like it.  I take about a 6 or 7 hours, talk about repeaters, PL's,  propagation, etc, do some brief demos w/ operating tips, some sketches on a whiteboard, and have a few handouts and articles to help people get started.  Sort of explaining my way through the material.  Gordo, thanks for all your help!

Lots of people just want to get on the air and are "utility hams," for 4WD, community events, SAR, etc.  They don't care about the gremlins that make their HT work!   Be glad they're joining the hobby, want to be legal, and give them a hand to help get started!

You don't have to be an ex navy radioman or have an electronics degree just to be a ham.  Heathkit is out of business and phones no longer have cranks on the side.  Or cords!   And it's the rare ham who can work on their own rig....Why fight it?   If they want more, they'll pick it up as they go, join a ham club, or get an Elmer.  The person who gets their drivers license isn't ready for the cross-country drive right away either but we don't let that stop them from getting started....
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K0CBA
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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2016, 10:39:39 PM »

You need a course for a tech ticket?!   YIKES.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2016, 09:48:39 AM »

Keep in mind that the topic for this thread is "One Day Tech" courses.  ALL one day gets you is enough to pass a test and qualifies you to nothing beyond that.
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KB7QOA
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« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2016, 01:23:39 PM »

I don't have a problem with them.  You'll have some people go through that have little interest in radio itself, and they either won't last long or they'll be relatively quiet on the air.  I've seen a lot of families go through classes like these over the years, usually so they have their license to occasionally talk to the hobbyist.  This isn't even as common any more with cell phones being as prolific as they are.  Ultimately some people learn differently.  Some people have a rough time trying to study over a long period of time, especially if they aren't actively using the materials.  A crash-course can be just the method they need to pass the test.  As we tell people when they pass the tech test at our VE sessions, "Now the real learning begins!"  The Tech license is just a starting point, and most people either lose interest very quick or they continue forward from there.
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