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My Teacher for a required course has been completely unreliable for any amount of actual teaching. He is honestly the worst teacher myself or pretty much any of the other students have ever had.

It's online, and it's actually very obvious that he's taken the format of his lesson plan directly from another teacher as many of his materials have their name listed instead of his. He'll ask for things on assignments that are very confusing (for instance, meet with your groups and discuss x) and the student body will be frantically messaging each other trying to figure out if we missed something because we were never assigned groups etc. It's not just us asking each other either, we send him messages. At several points it took him until after the assignment's deadline to respond to any one of us, so this isn't a one off occurrence.

His version of MLA format that he expects is adjusted, but how it's adjusted is up to speculation and seems almost dependent on how he's feeling. The only thing that he actually has to grade (since everything is online - he just pointed us to do pre-programmed worksheets from the book company) are three written reports at the tail end of the semester.

The problem with those reports is that because of the unclear formatting I, and a few others, received a drop in grade with no explanation or "this isn't what I was looking for". Nevermind that we've been wondering what he's been looking for but rarely responds to anyone about anything. The same thing happened with the next assignment but I lost significantly fewer points and I have zero idea what the difference was between the two formats.

I understand that Teachers have to work incredibly hard and they are often undervalued comparatively to that, but even giving him an incredible amount of leeway I have to be honest and say that he should never have picked up this course if he wasn't actually going to teach us. Is this something that I should bring up to the school's HR? This semester has been absolute torture for all of us and it's ridiculous that anyone should be "taught" like this.

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    Does your institution asks for anonymous feedback from students at the end of semester? – The Doctor May 10 '18 at 20:43
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    I think this might be a problem beyond evaluation, as students seem to be treated unfairly. Try bringing this up with the department chair? – xuq01 May 10 '18 at 20:47
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    @TheDoctor They do. It just seemed so outlandish to me that this person is doing such a reprehensible job that I was considering reaching out openly. I hate to pull out the old "I'm paying for this." but it's true. I will say (and I state this afterwards because it's just occurred to me) there have been massive cuts to education lately and it may be the cause to him having to pull extra classes because of lack of educators, but then maybe my complaint will help them with that cause as well? I'm not sure. – zfrisch May 10 '18 at 20:58
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    The stackexchange format deals with questions that have answers, and the answers are supposed to be useful to other people besides the asker. This is not a question with an answer. It's more like a rant about a bad teacher. – Ben Crowell May 11 '18 at 4:02
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    I bold the actual question to make it more clear. But, I think this question needs more improvements. Can you take sometime to organize and shorten it to make it more answerable? – scaaahu May 11 '18 at 4:36
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Not if this is the format you're going to bring your complaint in. You really need to get a group together with very clear, well documented, explicit examples of the problem behavior and bring that to the attention of the administration. You've probably got an ombudsman who would be a good first place to bring such a complaint to.

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    In an online class, luckily everything is pretty well "documented," except perhaps if attempted communication was by email instead of the learning management system. (This doesn't take the place of preparing a few explicit examples, but this does mean there's a lot more documentation available once someone in charge agrees to look.) – cactus_pardner May 11 '18 at 6:04
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    Don't make them look it up. Print it out and bring it with you. – Glen Pierce May 11 '18 at 6:06
  • Agree with ombudsperson as the place to start rather than HR. Figure out your top ~three complaints (maybe "incomplete syllabus", "lack of direction/rubric for assignments", "lack of feedback/response") and find 1-2 good clear examples of each to print out and bring with. Also do some thinking about what outcome you're looking for - do you just want it brought to the university's attention? Do you want a different grade or someone else to re-grade your work? Do you want a refund and the chance to retake the class? – J K May 12 '18 at 21:00

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