I definitely enjoying the formal study of the courses I am taking, however, I find University courses inferior to self study in many ways. There are two specific benefits to a University course:
1) Having a knowledgeable instructor at hand to answer questions.
2) Having that same knowledge base available to set the study curriculum, since that instruction can direct attention to the most important aspects of the study.
The fixed formal lecture format is not terribly effective, at least for the scientific topics that I have been studying. In this day and age, when the technology to record lectures is so pervasive and freely available, there is really no excuse for the formal and fixed lecture style still found in the classroom. In an ideal learning environment, there would be time available between concepts to work through problems and gain complete understanding of each idea before going on to the next. Such an ideal learning environment would interleave practical work, text study and lectures. Testing should be used as a metric for whether or not the material is fully understood before continuing to the next aspect of study (or returning to areas of deficiency). In University classes testing is designed to produce a grade, not understanding, something that is completely backwards.
I am also surprised to see that grading for many graduate courses is still primarily based on exams. Having spent twenty years working before coming back to school it is a rude shock to come back to such an artificial metric for success. In nowhere other but school is it considered reasonable to make the metric for success based on how quickly a student can rush through a test, with no references at hand, attempting to construct answers that are optimized for maximal marks. In industry, the kind of mistakes that are inevitable in an examination context would lead to millions of dollars of service and product maintenance costs, and get people fired.
It is asinine that there is no feedback mechanism in place to review and retest of failed or partially successful final exam material. This seems to highlight the fact that university courses do not seem to be designed with learning as the primary goal. It is not clear what that goal is.