I've recently been the subject of bullying by a group of students. I taught a difficult module alongside another module, which was taught by somebody else. The other module was much easier and offered huge amounts of support. Students described having their hands held in this module. One student told me that this module felt like students were being treated as newbies, whereas my module felt like they were being treated as second year students at a Russell Group university. The university where I work is more teaching focused.
Having heard feedback from students, I think that the tasks I set them were quite challenging, and I don't think they were used to it. I'm still adjusting to the level that the students are operating at in this university, and were I to I teach in the module again, I would adjust the level.
However, the main issue is that students posted rude, personal and abusive feedback in the module evaluations and also posted nasty comments on the module forum. I also got nasty emails from some students, and although I passed this up to management, nothing was done and I was left to deal with this alone.
It has affected my self esteem and my confidence as a lecturer. I've always had plenty of good feedback before and I've always felt competent in my role. I don't know if I have any rights in terms of being bullied by students, but one student has just told me that there is a Facebook group where I was being slated and there were really personal comments. The student I spoke to today described it as a bit of a hate group, directed at me. One student even copied an email that I had sent her (a photograph of it) and posted it on a Facebook group. I'm not sure if this contravenes any confidentiality regulations.
Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else had experienced this and if anyone had any advice. I've been teaching for 10 years and I was on the verge of quitting my job, and I don't feel like I can easily face teaching these students again. On a personal level, I see it as an opportunity to develop greater resilience, but I can't help the fact that it really feels undermining and threatening to be in this situation.
Any advice or support would be appreciated.