Questions tagged [students]

Questions pertaining to those being taught at the post-secondary level.

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178
votes
11answers
27k views

How to deal with a student who most likely has a mental condition, and keeps arguing with me in class?

I am a TA for an introductory computer programming course at a university in the US. There is one student in particular who, during lecture, will argue with me about every point I make, which eats up ...
170
votes
7answers
40k views

Is it acceptable to publish student names with the label 'stupid question', on a publicly-visible website?

While I was browsing faculty websites, I came across this page (new link: http://www.pdmi.ras.ru/~iaroslav/teaching.php?screen_check=done&Width=360&Height=640). Near the bottom there is a ...
151
votes
15answers
30k views

How to deal with failing a student?

I supervise a student who is working on her bachelor's thesis. The problem is that she has not delivered anything, never asks for any help, and when I offer her some help she claims that she ...
150
votes
13answers
22k views

How honest should one be with their students when talking about the realities of academia?

January seems to be that time of the year that I ponder this question often. After the grades have come out, I always get a few students with very low grades (D or lower) coming to talk to me, and ...
140
votes
12answers
49k views

How to deal with a very weak student?

I am teaching an honors class for seniors (at a very good university, top 5 in my field). Most students are fantastic. They are very interested, they often surprise me with insights in class, and the ...
118
votes
14answers
27k views

How to react when encountering students who have previously failed my course?

Context: I am an assistant professor of mathematics at a small liberal-arts college in the US. I did my graduate work at a large public university, and there I rarely encountered students who had ...
116
votes
13answers
40k views

How to supervise a bad PhD student

I am a postdoc helping in the supervision of a PhD student who is finishing his 2nd year now. This is in Europe, meaning the student came in with a MSc degree and these 2 years have been of research. "...
112
votes
15answers
28k views

How to approach a student with bad hygiene?

I teach engineering at a community college in the US. I currently have a student with very poor hygiene. He stinks pretty badly, has obviously greasy hair, doesn’t change his clothes frequently, and I ...
108
votes
13answers
42k views

How to deal with arrogant e-mail of a student

I have sent the solutions of some assignments to the students of my class. One of my students sent me a message that reads as follows (not greeting or anything, no closing, just the following): ...
108
votes
9answers
27k views

Is it reasonable for a professor to ask students to stay 30-45 minutes past scheduled class time every week?

I'm currently in a class in my major that meets for 50 minutes 3 times a week. Meanwhile, I'm a member of a campus club, unrelated to my major, which meets right after this class one day. My ...
102
votes
7answers
28k views

Students bringing babies to class

I'm a student; recently, in one of my classes, a fellow student brought their baby in a stroller. She may have asked the professor beforehand for permission to do this. The baby cried, made loud ...
93
votes
11answers
16k views

What to say to a student who has failed?

A student has failed a course I just taught. Grades were announced yesterday. This student sent me a very long heartbreaking email about how this means she will be kicked out of her program, how she ...
88
votes
13answers
29k views

A student keeps using a native language while asking questions in the class when the course is taught in English

I am assisting a statistics course in a university, and my main job in the course is conducting problem solving sessions. The course is taught in English, and students interact with me in English. ...
87
votes
12answers
27k views

How should I deal with very negative feedback from some students?

I am a lecturer of a computer course in a university. Two months (almost 20 hours) of lectures have already finished. Very recently, I planned to get some feedback from my students on my lectures. I ...
85
votes
13answers
18k views

How to deal with a student who harasses the (inexperienced) teacher during class?

I am a young teacher at college. I have to go way too long, I know but I have the following problem. In one of my classes, I have this guy who pecks at me for everything I say. He is surely ...
83
votes
17answers
14k views

Is it acceptable for a professor to tell male students to not think that they are smarter than female students?

The situation occurred in the first lecture of an undergraduate course in a STEM field at an university. The professor said that there are less than 20% female students in the class, while the usual ...
80
votes
9answers
26k views

Giving a career talk in my old university, how prominently should I tell students my salary?

I have offered to do a talk at my old university’s 'employabilty fair' ten years after graduation, where am I now. With some advice on traps to avoid, how to make the transition from university to ...
78
votes
12answers
21k views

What to do about students who miss my lectures and then want me to repeat entire material?

I teach at a top undergraduate college of a highly ranked university in India. We have a centralized system where the syllabus is designed at the Central level (with some input from teachers) and ...
76
votes
12answers
18k views

Is it reasonable to require students to bring a laptop to every lecture?

In the next academic year, I'll be teaching a class on how to use a statistical software package (the R programming language). I foresee that each class will have two parts: a lecture and software ...
76
votes
13answers
30k views

Students trying to negotiate away penalties for late submission of coursework

I'm teaching a course where coursework is submitted online. Recently, an important group project assignment was due. The students are required to submit a project report, which contains a link to a ...
73
votes
11answers
16k views

Is it inappropriate to tell my students to check their school email?

I am a new STEM faculty member at a primarily undergraduate institution. I emailed my students (through the school-mandated online course management system) before the beginning of the term about the ...
73
votes
5answers
8k views

Handling Disruptive Student on the Autism Spectrum

I have a student who's on the autistic spectrum. He exhibits several disruptive behaviors in class, such as Inability to moderate his volume/interjections: he will shout out questions and comments ...
73
votes
5answers
11k views

Tutoring is depressing because my students are struggling too much with my exercises. What do I do?

I am a tutor for first year students in mathematics, and I feel pretty bad about it. I recently changed universities. At my previous university, where I also tutored, the exercises were very ...
73
votes
9answers
9k views

What to do about top students making other students lose confidence?

About once a year, I end up with a section with a student who is well ahead of others in the course. Often, these are students auditing the course, but sometimes are senior students attending 100-...
72
votes
7answers
29k views

Dating former student?

Here's the situation: She was an undergrad, I was a grad TA. At that point, our interactions were totally professional and limited to the classroom. However, she and I both since graduated and left ...
69
votes
14answers
17k views

Students staying hours past end of office hours

Background: I am a fourth year math graduate student working as a TA for an introduction to proofs course with a focus on analysis. I really enjoy the teaching component of my position as a graduate ...
66
votes
5answers
14k views

What can be done about a disruptive classmate?

There is a classmate who repeatedly interrupts the flow of lectures in various ways. We assume he has learning difficulties of some kind due to how he acts and because he has an assistant with him in ...
65
votes
19answers
26k views

What's a good way to prevent students from saying I lost their paper?

As a teacher, I've often had students say that they turned in an assignment, but that because I don't see it, grade it, and return it back to them, that I must have lost their papers/assignments. I ...
63
votes
5answers
15k views

Is it inappropriate for a student to attend their mentor's dissertation defense?

I'm an undergraduate student at a research one university. My former instructor and current research mentor is defending their dissertation soon. I asked if I could attend and they said they would be ...
62
votes
9answers
28k views

How to react professionally when you receive a complaint from a student

I got a surprising email from the department chair today, saying that one student has made a complaint against me. It seems that he felt that my tone in an office hour was mocking, and felt ...
61
votes
11answers
20k views

Is it ethical to tell my teaching assistant that I like him?

I, a twenty-year-old female, have come to admire the graduate teaching assistant for my summer course quite strongly. I'm extremely interested in what he has to say, I always pay attention, never use ...
58
votes
20answers
22k views

What should I do when my students use their phones in class?

On the first day of class, I told my students that they are not allowed to use their phones in class. However, a lot of them use their cell phones and don't pay attention in class. How should I deal ...
58
votes
7answers
14k views

Can a professor ask for money directly from students to print out handouts for class?

I'm currently taking a class that doesn't have a required textbook, which is why I took it. My professor is now saying that due to her scanning and printing out handouts for use we are each required ...
58
votes
11answers
60k views

How to handle a student's public speaking anxiety when teaching a class that requires presentations?

In one of the courses I'm teaching this semester, each student has to give a 20-minute in-class presentation of a paper relevant to the topic of each class. One of the students has approached me ...
56
votes
22answers
26k views

My university requires that I take attendance. How should I treat students who arrive late to class?

I might soon teach at a university which requires that I record attendance of students, as follows: Attendance is a requirement for the course. A person with at least 75% of attendance is eligible to ...
56
votes
11answers
10k views

How to hold back from interfering with students' inefficient-but-not-wrong work?

I'm a new and junior group leader. I therefore work quite closely with my (also new) MSc students. I try to let them work and figure out things as independently as they can, but have my door open so ...
56
votes
8answers
11k views

Anonymous Student Feedback: Moving forward from abusive comments

I'm looking for some guidance from some senior/experienced academics situated in the teaching space. As a relatively new lecturer (though I have some experience in lecturing in the past) I'm always ...
55
votes
7answers
10k views

My student told me his mother has cancer, what do I do?

Today I saw that one of my students in the class was looking very sad. He sat down at the end of class and he looked like he was in a bad mood. After all the students left the classroom I called him ...
55
votes
11answers
31k views

Should I hide the fact that I did a group assignment completely by myself?

Three students and I were assigned a small (~14 hours of work) group project. Because there was no effort on their side to meet and work, my e-mails regarding their progress remained unanswered and ...
52
votes
6answers
12k views

How to deal with a cynical class?

I am dealing with this class that somehow became very cynical. We have constant complaints about the pace of the class, people asking literally the same questions over and over, blatant plagiarism, ...
51
votes
8answers
9k views

What to do if bullied by students?

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 ...
49
votes
10answers
14k views

What to tell students who want to know how to succeed in your class

Setting is math in the US. It's quite common for a student who is not doing super well or is worried that they might not be to approach me and ask how they should be studying/what they should be ...
48
votes
15answers
17k views

Is it unreasonable to expect students to read the lecture notes before attending the first class?

The new semester will be starting in a few weeks, and I will be teaching a course which starts on the first day of the semester. The goal of the course is to teach students how to use the R ...
48
votes
9answers
7k views

How not to come off as boasting or arrogant, if you are one of the few active students in a class?

tl;dr: How not to come off as boasting, arrogant, attention seeking, etc. if you are one of the few students participating in class? Some background: I am currently attending a Master's level course ...
47
votes
11answers
17k views

What can a student who is already studying hard do to improve low grades?

I have been studying hard for the past year and a half (it's my second year of Computer Science) while not getting remotely close to the desired results. I passed my first year with a 7.2 GPA (5 (...
47
votes
5answers
16k views

Friendship with Professor okay?

My professor and I walk to and from for every class I have with her, I am a female senior student and my professor is in her 30's. I've gotten to know her really well, we even had a random dinner ...
46
votes
6answers
10k views

How to respond to an upset student?

My finals were held recently. Due to some timetabling issues, I had to organize for some students to take the finals early, but still within finals week. The dates were mutually agreed. One of these ...
46
votes
1answer
8k views

Alma mater (USA) refuses to remove my name from public search

The professor of a US university where I graduated from with a master's degree maintains a website that he makes available for public search. He lists students that attended one of his courses, ...
42
votes
8answers
22k views

How to deal with students leaving the class for 10 min during the lecture?

In the freshman classes I teach (the class is like 30-35 students), some students would step out the class for 10-15 minutes and come back. The class time is 1 hour and 15 min. This is always ...
41
votes
6answers
21k views

Am I being a “mean” instructor, denying an extension on a take home exam

I am currently teaching part time at a community college (in the US) and I have one student who is about 16, I think he is a senior in high school (at least he is about to graduate HS in the spring). ...