• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Whenever you search in PBworks or on the Web, Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) will run the same search in your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Gmail, Slack, and browsed web pages. Now you can find what you're looking for wherever it lives. Try Dokkio Sidebar for free.



Page history last edited by Andreas Formiconi 14 years, 10 months ago

Students feedback


These texts are translations provided by some students of their commentaries they have written in italian previously. The commentaries refer to the course of Spring 2008.

Andreas Formiconi (facilitator)


Daniela Cimmaruta


Commentary to our computer science class


Just when I started to think that I was absolutely unable in computer science and that new technologies were somthing misterious, in which I would have never find some intrest, I faced an exiting way to approach my computer.

This opportunity has been given not only to me but also to all of us, 220 Medicine students in Florence.

In order to substain our computer science examination, we had the possibility to choose two different modalities: either a classical one-day-exam, or a "shared route", which as first step previded the creation of our own blog.

The relevance of this secon modality was focused on the importance of social networking.

Through our blogs we had the possiblity to express not only our personal stuff, but also to share notes, suggestions and useful material for our studies.

For the ones who chosed  this way, no maturities were established because the point was not how fast you finished your job, but how dedicated was your job.

We were free to work when we preferred and we were "in touch" with the teacher through his blog: that's how we practically created a real network!

Without stress everything got easier.

At the beginning many of us, expecially the ones that, like me, were not so friendly with computers had some doubts, but the curiosity  was far more bigger than skepiticism, and now I can say that I was absolutely right!

I had the chance to explore many of the new frontieers of social networking ( twitter, google reader, del.ici.ous e.g. ) and, above all,  I knew better many of the guys who studies with me, through their blogs.

I'm surely going to continue writing on my blog even though this experience came to an end in June, and I'm convinced that  a lot of other student are willing to do the same




And now I’m here, trying to judge this “Computer Literacy Course”… If I think to what I’m going to do, I can only smile, as I’ve always hated judgments, even when I attended High School. Lots of marks… but what’s about a mark? What can you measure with a mark? Knowledge? Not at all, maybe a performance at last… And it’s the same with judgments. What does a judgment mean? World is subjective, things I love the most are awful for someone else. So, let’s take another point of view. An opinion. Not a judgment, but an opinion. I’m not able to judge, I’m not on a stairway looking below, but I can talk about my opinion, yeah – I definitely can do it. This was a strange course, to me. Different, totally different from all the things I’ve done before. I’m a graphic designer, so maybe innovations might be habitual… But when our teacher said: “Okay, guys, make a blog!”, my first thought was: “Okay teach, but you have to kill me before!”. Obviousely, it’s one of my idiosyncrasies: computer. I’ve always hated computers, I watched them from a long distance (are they going to bite me...?), I was sure that they had a self-destruction button (I’m serious!, this is not a joke!), and once I was quite near to have a hysterical crisis as I was not able to turn on a PC (a few time later someone said that I was pushing to button to open the CD player, so the computer couldn’t turn on even if I continued to push that button for my whole life…). Well, I was quite sure I wanted to do the traditional exam and then – panic! – I said myself: “Okay, let’s do it”. And I’ve done it. I’ve opened a blog. It was very difficult at the beginning: I wanted a course which said me what to do and how to do it. Anyway, day by day I started sinking deeper and deeper into the blog. I don’t know how it happened. And I started noticing one thing that I’ve never thought before. I liked it. Damn, I really liked it. Me – the computerfobic. This kind of learning, a little bit on my own, a little bit under a supervision. The satisfaction I felt for every little progress, thinking “well, okay, I’ll never be Bill Gates, but now I can do something more…”. Yeah – a great satisfaction. Another beautiful thing: the blogs of the other people. Lots of sparkles, invisible to the eyes, impossible to pick them up during the 4 hours of lesson in a morning, but real on a monitor, truth without speaking. And then, something to do with my hands, after a lot of hours spend on books repeating words which seem so far from daily routine, word that you will forget after the exam… But this course was different. It has scratched me. It let me feel something that months on books couldn’t help to feel. Books are depersonalizing. When you repeat a lesson, word by word, you yourself become words, like a poem without meaning. But this time I have expressed myself. In the best way that I could. And, for the first time, I didn’t feel like a robot but like a person. In an ocean of books, right now, I’ve found a drop of beauty.






Our teacher asked us to give our final judgement about this Computer Literacy Course. So it's natural for me to think that this journey is over. I'm a little sorry about that, above all because this means that my experience as a Medical student is officially over.

Up to now, when people asked me how was the university going I hummed and hawed by saying I was studying Computer Literacy. But now this course is over and I have to explain to everyone that I've decided to quit Med School. Oh my God, it will be terrible!! Ok, this was a personal thing, it didn't have anything to do with the course.

When I was right in the middle of my crisis about university and about my future, among Histology and Anatomy lessons, the first and only Computer Literacy frontal lesson took place. I had already seen the teacher, and some friends of mine who had already “attended” the Computer Literacy course during the first semester told me : “Look, that's the Computer Literacy professor, the one that lets you make a whole exam only with a blog!!!”.

I really liked the idea of the blog since the beginning. At least because of the opportunity to interact with the other students out of the academic context... Actually, the Computer Literacy course has gone beyond the academic context : we spoke about the use of language, about the relationship between students and teachers, about doctor-patient relation... And I'd like to linger over the latter : during different months of lessons, we NEVER really spoke about the doctor-patient relation with our doctor-professors. We did a couple of lessons of Psychology and Bioethics, but only during the first week of the academic year, when we didn't feel like future medical doctors and we didn't feel like university students either. So, no doctor-professor has talked with us about the doctor-patient relation. In my opinion, every single lesson of every single subject should start from this theme, which is FUNDAMENTAL.

I'll take for example an Histology lesson (and I must state beforehand that I don't have the intention to offend anyone). We listened for 2 hours to a Professor who explains so quickly that the greater part of the lesson is nearly incomprehensible. Wouldn't it be better if the same Professor, who is a medical doctor too, explained only half the programme (considering that the themes the Professor explained must be studied from the beginning at home because during the lesson most of the students don't understand a word) and talked with us about being a medical doctor and about all the consequences?

I think that this could be better for everyone : the Professor would feel less tired at the end of the lesson and the students would find the lesson lighter (but not necessarily less demanding!) and above all much more important!!! A never ending monologue of the Professor about the cytoskeleton doesn't mean anything if at the end of the monologue I haven't learnt anything new because time is short and there are too many themes to talk about. Instead, a monologue about being a doctor is important to me, because if I have decided to attend Med School probably I'm interested in what being a doctor means! And who can explain this better than our doctor-professors???

Instead, no one has ever spoke about this. We talked about this with Mr. Formiconi, who isn't a medical doctor, but who seems to understand our needs better than our doctor-professors, who have lived what we are living now and who should understand the doubts and the perplexities of a student who is attending Med School without any idea of what being a medical doctor means.

We study a lot every day, and we study difficult subjects. And this is necessary, we cannot avoid it.

But quite rightly someone (like me), after a long time without seeing an end to all this study, quits Med School. And, who knows, maybe he/she has all the potentials to be a good medical doctor... At 99% I would never be a good doctor. But the other 1% scares me, because if I have never understood what being a doctor means, that's why no one ever explained it to me.


So, our Computer Literacy Course is really over.

How did it go? Which note will we get? Will it be a 30, that will help us raise the average? Or a 24, that the medical students will almost be forced to reject because of the new Medical Faculty rules?

Honestly, no offence meant, I don't really care. This experience has been important, as it has been something different, something that made us think about everything we learnt in our lives, about the methods we used to learn it, and about the efforts we made to learn it.

Some people didn't know what a blog was, and now they write posts daily, they comment on the others' posts, and they use a strange thing called “Google Reader”, that lets you see if your friends have written new posts without controlling every single blog.

If this was the aim of this course, I think it has achieved it. And it has achieved it without forcing us to study hundreds of books. Obviously, Computer Literacy is very different from the other subjects we study at Med School. But surely for every single subject there is a more “painless” way to learn things. My sister studies Arts and she'll have to do a Computer Literacy test. For this test, she will have to study a book. And I'm pretty sure that when she will have finished to study her book, in practice she will be able to do less things than I do. Even if I didn't study a book.

Thanks to this course and to our professor I have read “Chagrin d'école” by Daniel Pennac, a book about learning, about the relationship between the teacher and the student and about many other things we “spoke” about during this virtual Computer Literacy course. This book has open up new horizons in me, and maybe it has open a new way in my future. I will be a teacher. Maybe.

I take the opportunity to greet my virtual and real friends, hoping that we'll meet, virtually or really.

However, I'm not going to close this blog. I don't know where it will go, but it will be here.



Caterina Bartoli


Here it goes the last post about the Computer Literacy Course, the only real reason of why I've decided to build up this blog. It was told us to write something about the course and the subject, how we felt about it and, in case, how we could improve this project. First of all I want to say that I will keep writing posts and enjoying my blog, because I have fun, and this one seems to me a really good reason! So, I've already said a first thing, I had fun during this alternative course, something that shouldn't be underrated. It is definitely alternative because it has almost nothing in common with the normal courses we take: everything is based on computers, there are not real lessons, you don't have to hurry studying for an exam. Strictly speaking about my ability with computers, I must be honest and say that I haven't actually learned anything new, because even before this course I was good enough, but I've become for sure more confident of what I'm capable of, if I have to use a new computer program or face difficult problems. I think that this was one of the course's goal, and it scored. In my opinion, another aim was get us used to share, express ourselves, and get in touch with all the other students in a nice and simple way. We are more than 200 in class, and even if we know one other face more or less, it is impossible know everyone. That's why blogs were a great opportunity, unfortunately faded. I agree with all the people that have written about the big enthusiasm we have felt in the beginning, enthusiasm that disappeared soon because of exams, lessons, the racing for marks, couldn't-care.less attitude of many of our mates. It's sadly true. The "air" I've found at university really sùç#s, I must be honest. About this fact, many others wrote posts and I totally agree with them, except for one thing: the Computer Literacy Course didn't fail for some of us. The teacher should then modify something in order to improve all students' partecipation, and not just few of them: maybe a couple of lessons would be better than just the single one we had, so that people could better get the message. But besides the normal mistakes of a new and alternative project at its first attempt, I wanna thank the professor for his devotion and willpower, both dedicated in the wish of change and improve the teaching.


I also think that this try to create relationship between students may be seen as an antipation of our future doctor-patient relationships, because we will meet a lot of people in our career, unknown and different people, with problems and personal issues, looking for help. Know how to deal all these situations, using ease and professionalism (but also a smile and a consolation word), will be for sure the hardest aspect of our job, that qualification we would never be good enough at. This Computer Literacy Course in its semplicity, at least for my personal case, has been able to let me think more than once about problems that I faced just with superficiality in the past, and it made me appreciate university when I was thinking the worst of it. More over, I met a lot of new people and friends on the web. They're not students at my university, I've never met them in person, but they read my blog and they write comments. So maybe, exactly because even if I don't know them I did build up relationships and friendships with them, proves that the whole idea of sharing our teacher talked about eventually reached its aim.





Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.