Questions tagged [students]

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

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42
votes
8answers
24k 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 ...
42
votes
14answers
15k views

What should I (a professor) do if a student keeps answering other students' questions before I start explaining?

I have a student who keeps answering other students' questions before I could even start explaining. What should I do in this case? Should I ask them to come meet with me? If so, how should I convey ...
41
votes
6answers
24k 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). ...
41
votes
7answers
10k views

How to handle someone propositioning me to collude/cheat with them on an assignment?

I am doing my final year of undergraduate. Mostly I am working on my Honours project but I have a few units from earlier years that I am still doing as I did some out of order. Another student, ...
41
votes
6answers
4k views

What are the benefits/detriments to graduate students joining unions?

The graduate students at my university (a relatively large state school in the US) are considering joining a union. To help decide whether to sign a union card in support of joining the union, I'm ...
40
votes
14answers
11k views

What are strategies for minimizing student questions during exams?

Context: I am an assistant professor of mathematics at a small liberal arts college in the US. I generally find student questions during tests and quizzes to be somewhat annoying. I disliked them ...
39
votes
11answers
13k views

What can I do with like-new, recent-edition textbooks that I'm not allowed to sell?

My employer is sponsoring most of the tuition and fees for my master's degree (in aerospace engineering), including required textbooks. Thus, it is unethical and against policy for me to sell those ...
39
votes
4answers
10k views

How to respond when insulted by a grad student in a different department?

I'm a lecturer at a small university. In a class I taught last year, one grad student disagreed with his grade and complained as high up in the university as possible. The result was the grade stayed ...
38
votes
3answers
11k views

How often do professors regret accepting particular graduate students (i.e., “bad hires”)?

Completely out of curiosity, I was wondering how often PIs have to deal with "bad hires" in their lab/group? I sometimes hear the PI/trainee relationship be compared to marriages, where half ends in a ...
38
votes
5answers
8k views

How can I deal with students who try to steer a course (in the online setting)?

I am not a course instructor, but I am a teaching assistant for a large course in STEM in the large US school. I have been soliciting advice from students to improve the course and tutorial for the ...
37
votes
11answers
10k views

Professor using student paper as an example of what not to do in class?

So a professor used a grad student's paper (anonymously) as an example of what not to do or what she doesn't want to see in the papers. The student was blindsided as the student wasn't notified that ...
36
votes
7answers
10k views

Is it discrimination to hold someone from a minority or underprivileged background to the same academic standard as regular students? [closed]

Suppose a graduate student is found to be noticeably or even significantly behind in overall academic and research competence. For example, they may have significantly weaker language and ...
36
votes
11answers
14k views

Students admit illicit behavior in private communication: how should I proceed?

I am an adjunct professor at a University for a course where the students have to use a certain software "X" during the course. The software is distributed under a proprietary license; our ...
36
votes
14answers
7k views

How do you enforce handwriting standards for homework assignments as a TA?

I am a TA who is helping to grade student homework assignments for an undergrad engineering course which involves a lot of mathematics. The homeworks all together count for miserly 5% and is only ...
36
votes
5answers
15k views

Years ago, a professor agreed to write a LOR, but never sent it. Therefore, I'm not accepted in any school. What can I do?

Years ago, a professor agreed to write me a recommendation letter. So I applied to many grad schools indicating him as one of my referees. However, I didn't find out until later that he didn't write ...
36
votes
5answers
5k views

How should a university deal with outsourced essay writing?

My campus is full of flyers, typically attached to lightposts and so, advertising to write essays for money. There's plenty of such services offered on the internet as well. Presumably, many ...
36
votes
3answers
48k views

I found out my master's thesis topic has already been done (exactly), and my advisor didn't mention this when suggesting it to me - how to proceed?

I am really frustrated, I have started my research for my master thesis 6 months ago and I have to submit the final draft after 2 months. I was interested in a specific topic and I looked for a ...
35
votes
12answers
29k views

Dealing with students who sent email with empty body but the homework attached

I am responsible for the exercises for a graduate course. The students submit their solutions via email and all of them send a normal email: greeting me and telling that the solutions file is attached ...
35
votes
3answers
8k views

Teaching the daughter of a lecturer, while being simultaneously enrolled in his course

I'm a student in a bachelor program at a local university, while I'm also a teacher (professional school) of apprenticeship students within the same sphere of study. A few days ago I received the ...
35
votes
4answers
17k views

As a student with questions about a paper, can I email the author myself or should I ask someone else to contact him?

I am reading a paper and have questions about the details of the procedure described. I have read other papers by the same team but they don't explain too much about that procedure anyway. I think it ...
34
votes
6answers
15k views

Best practices when allowing exam cheat sheets

Context: I am an assistant professor of mathematics at a small liberal-arts college in the US. I am currently teaching an applied mathematics course for about thirty students with business-related ...
34
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I tell my advisor about mental health problems?

I'm an undergraduate student (20f). I have 2 academic advisors - one in the Honors College & one in my department. I met with the Honors advisor recently to discuss study abroad and we somehow got ...
33
votes
9answers
10k views

How do I tell my supervisor his idea is incorrect?

My supervisor gave me some guidance in order to complete my Masters thesis and to publish the result in a journal. His idea to develop the work is not correct and in this case I know my thesis better ...
33
votes
5answers
9k views

I believe my classmates plan to hand in a plagiarized project, how should I handle this?

In my class, we have project groups of 4 or 5 students. This period has everything to do with game development. The project is to build a XNA game for children at primary school. Now, there is one ...
32
votes
8answers
16k views

A few students requesting to cancel lectures due to their personal reasons. What should I do?

I give lectures to postgraduate students. The number of students in this batch is very low (< 20). The lectures are foundation lectures for the course. We are only into the basics of the course. ...
32
votes
4answers
142k views

How do you respectfully give a teacher feedback about their teaching?

My teacher's teaching style isn't working for me, and he asked for feedback about the class and how he could teach it better. He teaches with powerpoint and gives quizzes that are all about rote ...
31
votes
11answers
19k views

Is the death of a girlfriend's father a reasonable excuse for a student to miss a class?

I just received an email from an undergrad student in a course that I am teaching. The student informed me that his girlfriend's father passed away, and so he will be unable to attend my class because ...
31
votes
14answers
9k views

What to do with students requesting deadline extension due to the death of a relative (but without a doctor's note)?

I am currently working as a teaching assistant for several courses in STEM in the US at the college level. During the past two semesters since Covid19 started, I have noticed that whenever a deadline ...
31
votes
10answers
9k views

Is it necessary for a grad student to respond to phone calls, as long as they're responsive on email?

I am asking this for a friend who hopes to enter grad school for a PhD next year in science. This person has a cell phone but almost always turns it off and has no voice mail (meaning there is no way ...
31
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it appropriate for a TA to say “My Students”?

I am a teaching assistant for the first time this semester. A couple of friends have asked how it is going, and I have used phrases like "some of my students..." or "my students are ..." when telling ...
31
votes
7answers
6k views

Is it ethical to offer a student a job during the final weeks of his thesis if you are partly grading it?

Our institute has an open position for a student research assistant where it is hard to find qualified applicants. Currently, I'm supervising a very good student who is in the final weeks of writing ...
30
votes
3answers
36k views

Rejecting a PhD offer after having accepted it. Advice?

I have accepted a PhD offer from a very good university to do a project very close to my interests. I have told the project supervisor I accept it. In the meanwhile I have managed to secure a PhD ...
30
votes
3answers
8k views

How common are romantic relationships between faculty and students?

Romantic relationships between faculty members and students are often depicted in movies or books, and the student falling in love with his/her professor seems to be a bit of a cliché. But how common ...
29
votes
8answers
9k views

How can I politely reply and educate students with unreasonable requests?

I am a professor at uni, and I have been experiencing a number of unreasonable requests from students on these days, some of them arguing that they need a special treatment due to the current Covid-19 ...
29
votes
7answers
8k views

Is it common to ask professors for an editable copy of their lecture notes (so I can improve them)?

I'm a grad student in Italy, for context. My professor wrote some lecture notes about a course I just finished. They are not well written, not because the professor isn't good but because he wrote ...
29
votes
4answers
6k views

What should advisors do if one of their PhD students has to withdraw?

Unfortunately, there are circumstances when not everything goes right in a student's PhD career, or there can be personal circumstances that require doctoral candidates to withdraw from a PhD program ...
28
votes
4answers
24k views

What laws exist in India to protect students from harassment by teachers/professors?

I am a college student in Rajasthan. I had a chance to address a large group at a college function, and in my address I said unfavorable things about professors in the college. Since then, I believe ...
27
votes
8answers
6k views

What is the best way to keep your students from getting out of control?

I am new to teaching. Recently I was given the opportunity to teach at my own university (I am currently doing an MPhil from my university). If a teacher fails to control his students once, he wouldn'...
27
votes
4answers
9k views

How to deal with students asking very incremental questions?

I'm a TA/grader for an online course in introductory programming. We have students ask us questions related to homework/labs/etc. on Piazza where we can have quick back-and-forth with questions and ...
27
votes
6answers
13k views

Is it normal to have no publications after 2.5 years in a PhD program?

Background: I started my Ph.D two and half years ago in engineering/computer science field. I was pushed by my supervisor into a direction which he thought would be good (He switched directions and he ...
26
votes
12answers
10k views

Where is your line with students on social media?

I will be giving lectures for the first time this semester starting in 2 weeks (online due to covid), some students already started to add me and follow me on social media (LinkedIn mainly for now). I ...
26
votes
4answers
7k views

How do you deal with trolling students?

This is inspired by the other question about dealing with stupid questions. The popular answers all seemed to assume that the student really wants to hear an answer. While this is a reasonable ...
26
votes
6answers
5k views

What are the pros and cons of being co-supervised?

Are there any advantages or disadvantages in having two supervisors instead of one? Why would a graduate student want to do this or avoid this? The context is in an MA where students usually have one ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do professors list current position of their students on their webpages?

I see that most professors list their former Ph.D students and their current positions on their web page. Is it a kind of advertisement? If so, why? If not, why not?
25
votes
10answers
14k views

Some possible ways to respond to a student complaining about not having enough time on exam

A student emailed me after a recent exam, complaining about not having enough time to finish the exam. Out of all the students, most managed to finish within 2/3 of the provided time. I wonder what ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Can student second author go to conference?

I am an undergraduate in computer science. I worked on a professor's project, and he submitted it to a conference with me being the second author (he and I are the only authors). If it is accepted, I ...
25
votes
6answers
5k views

To what extent should a professor give students freedom to do independent research?

During the discussion How/when to become independent in research as a graduate student?, there were one or two professors who not only agreed with the idea of independent research, but also said that ...
24
votes
13answers
6k views

How to handle students not returning borrowed equipment?

I frequently bring my own equipment to the classroom for student use. Some students forget my announcements to bring certain items. Some items are infrequently used or kept ready on standby when time ...
24
votes
7answers
9k views

In which countries is cheating in university exams considered a crime?

In the comments to the question Methods to track behind cheating on exams using on-line sites? , Federico Poloni states that cheating is considered a felony in Italy (see https://www.normattiva.it/...
24
votes
9answers
25k views

Should I send a letter of recommendation directly to a student?

I teach at a U.S. community college, and commonly write letters of recommendation for students applying subsequently to either bachelor's programs or graduate school. I am accustomed to sending such ...

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