Feedback on being a better professor (ridiculously long) (Read 327 times)


Feeling the growl again

     

    I considered that.  But it was pretty satisfying to respond to entitled students with, "So, you did the minimum necessary work for this assignment, and you think you deserve something other than an 'Average' grade?"

     

    Maybe that was the real lesson they walked away with (who am I kidding?).

     

    Future wearer of thirteen pieces of flair.

    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

     


    Queen of 3rd Place

      The parents met with the Dean and have filed paperwork for a grade change, in their written statement they've dug themselves into a little logical hole (let's just say they don't fully understand rounding nor "the spirit of the law"), I can keep that little tidbit in my back pocket. They've already told the dean that if I deny the grade change they will "take it to the Senate". I assume they mean the Academic Senate rather than the State Senate. From what I've been told, they won't get any satisfaction with the Academic Senate. I do not know what their next move might be, I suppose they could go to the Chancellor. The Dean told me that not even the Chancellor can coerce me to change the grade.

       

      The Dean called them "cockpit parents", so at least I've learned a new term from all of this.

       

      If it weren't for the fact that the vast majority of my students are terrific, this would almost make me want to go back to a nice, quiet, research lab.

      Ex runner


      Feeling the growl again

        The parents met with the Dean and have filed paperwork for a grade change, in their written statement they've dug themselves into a little logical hole (let's just say they don't fully understand rounding nor "the spirit of the law"), I can keep that little tidbit in my back pocket. They've already told the dean that if I deny the grade change they will "take it to the Senate". I assume they mean the Academic Senate rather than the State Senate. From what I've been told, they won't get any satisfaction with the Academic Senate. I do not know what their next move might be, I suppose they could go to the Chancellor. The Dean told me that not even the Chancellor can coerce me to change the grade.

         

        The Dean called them "cockpit parents", so at least I've learned a new term from all of this.

         

        If it weren't for the fact that the vast majority of my students are terrific, this would almost make me want to go back to a nice, quiet, research lab.

         

        What an entitled little princess they are raising.  Roll eyes

         

        Good grief.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         

           

          The Dean called them "cockpit parents", so at least I've learned a new term from all of this.

           

          If it weren't for the fact that the vast majority of my students are terrific, this would almost make me want to go back to a nice, quiet, research lab.

           

          Explains the "helicopter parents", my high school teacher running buddy used this morning.

            The parents will have a hard time being on hand to wipe the kid's ass everyday at the Caribbean med school.

             

            It sucks to be on the receiving end of this kind of nonsense.

            2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.


            Feeling the growl again

               

              Explains the "helicopter parents", my high school teacher running buddy used this morning.

               

              I want to be Blackhawk helicopter parents.  We'll give you the best training and gear we can, but once you fast-rope into enemy territory,  Mom and I will be back in the O Club enjoying happy hour.  Go ahead and radio in for advice, but in the end it's your ass on the line so you'd better look out for it.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               


              Best Present Ever

                The parents met with the Dean and have filed paperwork for a grade change, in their written statement they've dug themselves into a little logical hole (let's just say they don't fully understand rounding nor "the spirit of the law"), I can keep that little tidbit in my back pocket. They've already told the dean that if I deny the grade change they will "take it to the Senate". I assume they mean the Academic Senate rather than the State Senate. From what I've been told, they won't get any satisfaction with the Academic Senate. I do not know what their next move might be, I suppose they could go to the Chancellor. The Dean told me that not even the Chancellor can coerce me to change the grade.

                 

                The Dean called them "cockpit parents", so at least I've learned a new term from all of this.

                 

                If it weren't for the fact that the vast majority of my students are terrific, this would almost make me want to go back to a nice, quiet, research lab.

                the parents can file the grade change paperwork?  The student doesn't have to?  At least the Dean has your back.  Poor kid.  And poor you.

                  As much as I can understand your frustration with this process, I find it very interesting (and maybe alarming) that you're copy / pasting private emails sent from a student to you and making public some private details and providing updates on this story.

                  I bet the cockpit parents wouldn't be happy about what you're doing here on RA, and I also wonder whether your dean would think this is a good idea.

                   

                  But... carry on.

                   

                  (FWIW, I'm a parent of a college student, and a son of a professor.  I've heard dinner time stories at Christmas every year from my father in law that match closely with this thread, and I'm glad he contains his frustration to a relatively close knit audience).

                   

                  MTA: I did a google search on "You said in class that topics would be selected from previous mid-terms. Form B" which are words your student wrote, and the top search result was this topic.

                   

                  Brian

                  2014 Goals:

                  #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                  #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                   


                  Roadrunner's Apprentice

                    I teach mechanical engineering part time as an adjunct.  My department head has repeatedly told me that grading and letter grade assignment is entirely at the instructor's discretion.  I have had students beg for grades, or ask for finals to be weighted less heavily.  In the end, you have to be objective.  If a student didn't make the cut, they don't get the grade.  Period.

                     

                    Hopefully your department and dean back you up.

                    2014 Goals:

                    - sub-26 5K : sub-56 10K : 1st half marathon

                    - Tell my excuses to shut up and lace up...


                    And in the end...

                      In all seriousness, is it worth anyone's time to argue over the difference between 89.8 and 90?

                      ------------------------

                      The GITM is moot.


                      Best Present Ever

                        In all seriousness, is it worth anyone's time to argue over the difference between 89.8 and 90?

                         

                        Oh my word, you are obviously not a student.  If unrounded, 89.8 is a B+, which, at least at my university, is a 3.3 on the 4 point scale, while a 90 is a 3.7.  Not rounding is obviously TRAGIC.

                          I think if you're upfront with students about rules and expectations, and you've lived up to your end, then it's up to them to perform and earn anything awarded to them. I think the student shows that he or she cares about the grade, and that should be acknowledged.

                           

                          The title of the thread says you want feedback on being a better professor. Here's all I have for you:

                           

                          I'm not sure if it was part of the upfront agreement that you'd be publishing any private correspondence from your students on the web. Even though you're keeping it anonymous, you're still publishing it for the world to see. If you're not up front about that, perhaps you should be. I'm not sure I'd want my professor to be doing that. If so, I'd like to know before I send them a private email.

                           

                          +1 on the "feedback on being a better professor"

                           

                          another +1 on the answer JimmyB provided.

                           

                          (didn't see this until after I posted)

                          2014 Goals:

                          #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                          #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                           


                          Feeling the growl again


                             

                            If it weren't for the fact that the vast majority of my students are terrific, this would almost make me want to go back to a nice, quiet, research lab.

                             

                            Apparently, you are beginning to lose your sanity.  Big grin

                             

                            (I went cold turkey and so far 8+ years pipetting-free)

                            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                             


                            Joggaholic

                               Oh my word, you are obviously not a student.  If unrounded, 89.8 is a B+, which, at least at my university, is a 3.3 on the 4 point scale, while a 90 is a 3.7.  Not rounding is obviously TRAGIC.

                               

                              I wonder how common (or uncommon) is the adherence to the letter grade cutoffs in universities in general? In most of the classes I took (like at least a decade ago) 90 is only a minimum for an A, most class grades are curved and the cutoff is sort of arbitrary as decided by the professor (say, 85, or 80 for an A) at THE END of the semester, and never decided up-front.

                               

                              MTA: Worded it wrong, I meant to say a 90 guarantees an A but the cutoff can be lower (<90)


                              Feeling the growl again

                                 

                                I wonder how common (or uncommon) is the adherence to the letter grade cutoffs in universities in general? In most of the classes I took (like at least a decade ago) 90 is only a minimum for an A, most class grades are curved and the cutoff is sort of arbitrary as decided by the professor (say, 85, or 80 for an A) at THE END of the semester, and never decided up-front.

                                 

                                Typically curves are not arbitrary, it will be defined relative to other students. For example my organic chem class in college.  To get an A you needed to be in the 90th percentile of the class or higher...80th for a B....etc.  So it was not arbitrary, and was defined in advance, but it was relative to your performance vs others in the class rather than to the actual score on the test.  In the example above, a 70% average would usually get you an A (he was a challenging prof).  Conversely, in my MBA I took an economics class where I got an AB (weird scale, A-AB-B etc) despite having only missed 4 points during the whole semester because the class was so easy that a number of people had perfect or more-perfect-than-me performance.

                                 

                                I've not seen truly arbitrary grading scales used after the fact, but that's not to say it isn't done.  I would think that would be setting the prof up for a LOT of headaches though.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand