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Author Topic: One day Tech course - good/bad ???  (Read 6642 times)

Posts: 198


« 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.

Posts: 115

« 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.

Posts: 44


« 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.

Posts: 2312

« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 01:04:53 AM »

Not good.  Way too many people are just memorizing the tests now.

Posts: 1930

« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 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.

Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f

Posts: 536

« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 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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