Student Experience with Study.com
STUDY.COM V CSET WORKSHOP
This is my personal opinion of two different “CSET: Science” study options. I studied two ways: the CSET Science Subtest Preparation Workshop by Brad Huff at Fresno State and Study.com. My opinion will be concise and direct. After using both resources, I prefer to study using the Study.com method for the Science CSET. I will break down my rationale in the paragraphs below.
The Workshop led by Dr. Huff is synchronous. They meet on Saturdays, typically from 8 AM to 3 PM. There is one Saturday dedicated to each Science Subtest. For example, one for Chemistry, Physics, Biology, etc. Sometimes there would be two sciences taught in the same day, never overlapping. Therefore, a student can attend both workshops if they choose.
Dr. Huff and other instructors partner to give lectures/presentations. These lectures/presentations seek to teach viewers about a specific type of science. Personally, I found these presentations to be very cut and dry. There was not enough time for students to ask questions as the professors were trying to just “get through all the material” before their allotted time was expired. They read off the PowerPoint, and if you did not have prior knowledge, you would be confused.
I noticed this when I was only understanding what they were saying because of my prior Chemistry knowledge. As for the other Sciences, I was pretty lost at some points because I was not as familiar with the topic. This made it hard to follow along if I was lost and unsure with insufficient time to ask questions or try out the problem for myself.
Additionally, the platform they used brought audio issues throughout the presentation which made it difficult to hear the speaker. Sometimes, students would be dropped from the workshop and sometimes it was very difficult to hear the presenter.
The very nice part about this is that Dr. Huff sends all participants the powerpoints afterward. I actually printed the PowerPoints and was able to go back through them to further prepare. This was a free resource that I benefited from. The printed PowerPoints were a game-changer for me. I was able to take my time understanding the material this way.
CSET studying with Study.com is asynchronous. Once the subscription is purchased, the participant is able to study whenever and wherever they are. The participant can schedule modules throughout their week to break up their studying or power through studying for multiple hours. It is flexible. Therefore, the time one has for studying can be used to study even if it is only 30 minutes. There are also videos in conjunction with notes. When I used Study.com, I studied by watching the videos and taking my own separate notes by hand.
Additionally, there are quizzes one can take which are helpful to test your knowledge. The format of the quizzes tests you on the content you just learned. It is a great recap tool. There are also chapter tests at the end of the chapters that serve as a way to test your ability to call all the information presented in that chapter. There are a total of 11 chapters for the CSET Chemistry module. After you take the test, you are given the correct answer. This is quite helpful especially when you know the correct answers to your wrong answers. Therefore, you can improve.
I found Study.com to be my preferred method of studying because it was more customizable. I was able to make studying my own by going at my own pace and reviewing in chunks when I wanted to. I also was able to start and stop the videos whenever I wanted or needed to. The Study.com tools were adaptable to my schedule.
As for content, I found the material presented at Study.com to be much more relevant, comprehensive, and current. The information was nicely presented and left little room for misunderstanding. It was straightforward and well thought out. The notes I took while studying through Study.com, I plan to use as a reminder when I start teaching. Study.com allows you to go back in older modules to review the information which was helpful for studying in the days leading to the test.
With the Workshop, sometimes the material was old and unclear. It was not presented in a straightforward manner. Therefore, sometimes I felt confused when I shouldn’t have been with more explanation.
The Workshop is free.
Study.com subscription is $60/month.
Truthfully, it is up to the participant about what route to take. If the participant would function well with synchronous platforms, then the Workshop is the way to go. If the participant needs more flexibility in their studying, then I recommend Study.com as it is asynchronous. There are pros and cons to both, some outweigh the others, but, overall, it depends on the participant. Personally, I am very happy that I studied with Study.com for both the Science CSET 215 (General Science) and 218 (Chemistry).