I have been appointed to teach one course in Artificial Intelligence in one university. The reason was that the main lecturer is involved in other duties and for that reason he could not teach one group (there are two groups actually). The thing is that this lecturer has given me all the material: slides, exercises, exams, practices, final project and so on; and he told me explicitly to follow that material.
I have been always a big fan of the freedom of teaching. I mean I believe that if two different lecturers teach course X; then it would be better if they can get two different approaches for the same topics. The Faculty academic coordinator has told me that I must follow the material exactly, because the examinations would be the same for both groups.
I wonder what to do in this situation? I am keen to take published material as a reference for a course, but not to follow all the material exactly from the other lecturer like if I were some sort of "academic monkey" (that only mimics what the other has made). I really feel frustrated about this situation and I do not know what to do.
Usually when I have gotten into this situation, in which I had to drop one group and that group has been assigned to another lecturer. I have given him/her full freedom, and only we gather around for making the practices and exams together. I really believe that is the correct way to do this things.
PD Some clarification points:
- The other lecturer and myself be both have the same rank, I mean we both are lecturers, only difference is that the other lecturer has taught the course before and that is why he was appointed coordinator of only that course.
- In academic ranks, I got more academic background in CS (two master's already done); in the other hand he is a die hard programmer programmer that has participated in programming contests, but that's it. He has only a bachelor in Information Systems.
- The material handed to me is simple, but it gets to my nerves that I must stick completely to it. I mean if a student is well prepared and every teacher follows the syllabic contents; then at the end it does not matter who made the final examinations. The student should be prepare for everything (except that the course is about, for example a Java certification, and I do not teach Java, but C). The point is that is a CS related course, and for that it should relies more in the algorithmic part that on some tricky-twisty programming stuff that tough programmers know.