Questions tagged [teaching]

This tag is related to the role and duties of a teacher, an academic instructor, tutor or a teaching assistant.

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40 votes
5 answers
18k views

Is it considered plagiarism for a professor to use uncited sources in teaching materials?

I have a professor at my university who uses content from an un-cited textbook that he has never referenced anywhere, including his green sheet (syllabus), as an additional resource. At least some ...
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54 votes
4 answers
5k views

How to teach a class that I've never taken?

I have the opportunity to teach an undergraduate class in statistics. However, I've never taken statistics and the material and concepts are a little foreign to me. I'm concerned, as a graduate ...
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132 votes
16 answers
26k views

Is it ethical to profit by having my students buy my textbook?

This question was suggested to me by How can I sell my text book to my students in e-book format? which asked about the practicalities, but attracted many comments about the ethics. So this question ...
65 votes
9 answers
6k views

How to improve myself as a lecturer?

I am a new lecturer in the field of Computer Science. I got my MSc and I would like to go for a PhD. However, I would like to improve my teaching methods and way of thinking before I pursue this goal. ...
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127 votes
13 answers
44k views

Is it ethical/acceptable to give a lighter penalty to students who admit to cheating?

I am at the moment dealing with an academic dishonesty incident in a class I'm teaching (a few groups of students submitting identical code, when the class policy forbids getting help from another ...
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13 votes
4 answers
6k views

Do students have the right to see how their papers were graded?

Note: You may refer previous revisions for more context. I read Academia varies more than you think it does, but in any school or university I've been to or heard of, students can always see how they ...
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42 votes
16 answers
9k views

Is it common to provide digital notes (slides or handwritten) for students?

I am preparing a lecture course for this semester and I am planning to teach from slides. I will consider these slides my notes for the course. However, the following points may also apply to ...
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89 votes
22 answers
35k views

What is the point of a lecture when you have a textbook?

I never really understood the point of having a course with lectures when the course has a textbook. Sometimes the subject is so high-level or specialized or so modern that the contents are changing ...
70 votes
14 answers
40k views

How should bathroom breaks be handled during written exams to avoid cheating?

It seems to me that it is impossible to prevent cheating (as in: communicating and getting help from outside) if one allows students to use the restroom during written classroom tests. Excluding ...
50 votes
18 answers
13k views

In teaching, what are the advantages of using slides over doing board work?

At my university, most lecturers and professors use slides in teaching. This is true for most engineering, mathematics and science courses. I am more comfortable with doing the board work and then ...
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59 votes
8 answers
13k views

Anonymous Student Feedback: Moving forward from abusive comments

As a relatively new lecturer, I'm always looking for ways to improve my teaching. After doing a bit of research around how different lecturers etc approach student feedback, a number had stated that ...
30 votes
4 answers
10k 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 ...
16 votes
4 answers
21k views

Device for writing a lecture with a stylus for video lecture recording

I would like to start recording mathematics lectures for students to watch on their own time. I need to find a device that allows me to write out the lecture with a stylus and import it to a computer. ...
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31 votes
6 answers
11k views

Should students be shown the grading rubric?

I teach a practical class which is assessed by a lab report. I grade the lab reports based on a rubric. The rubric has 6 sections (abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusions) ...
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95 votes
11 answers
39k views

"You are paid to answer my questions!" - how to handle silly questions?

How do I handle silly questions? By silly, I mean questions that are unrelated to the material of the course. First, I am a TA. Recently, a student asked me a very silly question at the end of a lab ...
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47 votes
14 answers
11k views

What are some good ways to keep students coming to lectures?

Having taught calculus for several semesters, I've noticed that the number of students attending lectures are gradually declining (especially for the 9am session). I would not be worried if they have ...
42 votes
10 answers
8k views

What is the purpose of having grades?

What is the idea behind giving a student a grade? It might sound like a funny question but I'm serious. I ask because in my previous question about disputing a mark, it's hard for me to decide how ...
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38 votes
13 answers
11k views

Under what circumstances would a professor be offended at students taping or recording his or her lecture?

Are there any policies on taping or recording or even streaming a professor's lecture? What do professors think about students who do this? Obviously, most circumstances the professor would never ...
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88 votes
12 answers
18k views

Should I tell students that it's my first time teaching the course?

I'm a TA teaching a class this fall for the first time. I've taught before, but never this class, and never felt an obligation to tell my students it's my first time teaching a given class. But, ...
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59 votes
7 answers
15k 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 ...
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50 votes
12 answers
27k views

Student missing exam for “medical reasons”

I have a student who failed an exam I gave three months ago and was supposed to show up for a remediation exam this week. The date was announced long in advance, and the student neither showed (all ...
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34 votes
7 answers
10k views

Is TA-ing worth the opportunity cost (of having more time for research)?

If you already have funding, is TA-ing (i.e. being a teaching assistant) worth the opportunity cost of doing more research? What are the relevant considerations? I've always heard that focusing on ...
24 votes
2 answers
4k views

Things to focus on in a model lesson

A model lesson is a usual element in interviews for the faculty level positions. Normally this is not a full lesson but a 15-minute version which is performed in absence of actual students for just a ...
17 votes
2 answers
5k views

Copyright for lectures, slides and textbook: university or professor?

I'll be starting as an adjunct professor soon at a smaller university, and I'm starting to prepare lectures and slides for teaching there. In the future, I'm also thinking of publishing a textbook ...
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20 votes
5 answers
6k views

Is it possible to earn a PhD in mathematics with emphasis in teaching?

I am currently a final year undergraduate, majoring in Pure Mathematics. My aim is to become a Maths lecturer in a university. With this in mind, I need to apply Phd in mathematics in the coming year. ...
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22 votes
3 answers
2k views

Limits on one student using all of one's office hours?

I generally don't have a lot of business in my dedicated office hours, but then sometimes I get a needy student who wants to use all of them -- every minute, of every day, in which I hold them. It ...
155 votes
15 answers
37k 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 ...
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100 votes
13 answers
24k views

Techniques for good board handwriting

I'm a math TA and I find that my most consistent comment for improvement involved my board handwriting. Anybody have some tips or techniques I can use to make things a little neater on the board? ...
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175 votes
13 answers
42k views

Grades are too high for the department - what should I do?

I recently taught an undergraduate seminar course, in which each student has to read a research paper, summarize it and present it to the class. In the first lesson I explained to the students the ...
42 votes
16 answers
6k views

Good slide design for teaching?

When I am preparing slides for a course (as I have been today, weekend be damned), aside from questions of pacing and exposition, I often find myself asking various questions about the layout of ...
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87 votes
12 answers
15k views

How to help reduce students' anxiety in an oral exam?

Oral exams can have various pedagogical benefits in certain circumstances, but can also make some students feel anxious. After watching several students nervous-sweat their way through such an exam, I'...
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42 votes
5 answers
2k views

How can we promote better writing skills in academic education?

This question may be too wide or in some perspective perceived as unclear but covers a key issue (for me) in academia, namely, academic writing. Students start their academic career with varying ...
47 votes
5 answers
6k views

How do I 'read the room' and adjust my pace while lecturing?

I am a PhD student. I've never taught a lecture-style course before. I just filled in for my advisor at the last minute, giving a lecture in an undergrad course. I taught from the lecture slides that ...
  • 107k
65 votes
13 answers
22k views

What are the benefits of an oral exam?

A recent question about reducing stress in oral examinations asserted that Oral exams can have various pedagogical benefits in certain circumstances Based on the reputation of the poster I'm ...
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109 votes
9 answers
36k 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 ...
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41 votes
4 answers
2k views

Do teaching evaluations lead to lower standards in class?

In the somehow recent past, teaching evaluations have become obligatory in many universities/departments in Germany. I've also heard that sometimes these evaluations are used in formal ways to decide ...
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23 votes
6 answers
3k views

What makes a didactically effective lecture? [closed]

I have made the experience that even the most excellent academics are often didactically mediocre lecturers. I also watched some of last years Nobel lectures and realised many laureates are actually ...
56 votes
11 answers
18k views

What to do if assignment is against student's religion?

What is the proper course of action if while teaching an undergraduate or even secondary school course an assignment violates the religious beliefs of a student? For a more concrete example of where ...
53 votes
5 answers
12k views

Effective way to deal with misuse of mobile devices in class

I'm at a North American, state-run university (not an elite institution), which is relatively modern in terms of supporting mobile devices. The school is proud of its WiFi coverage in every classroom, ...
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14 votes
2 answers
892 views

Does better learning affect teaching evaluations? If so, how?

Arum and Roksa (p. 7) say: Research on course evaluations by Valen Johnson has convincingly demonstrated that "higher grades do lead to better course evaluations" and "student course evaluations ...
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43 votes
15 answers
20k views

Is 100 hours per year of teaching a heavy load for a lecturer?

I have recently been appointed as a lecturer in a scientific department. This is a permanent position. The responsibilities of the position include: teaching, conducting high level research, ...
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20 votes
7 answers
5k views

How to calibrate the time constraint of an exam for a new course?

I am preparing an exam for a course I'm running. It's an engineering course; the exam problems require students to apply conceptual knowledge and quantitative skills taught in lectures and labs. It's ...
  • 107k
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

what is the best strategy to deal with a situation where a student asks all of homework problems on an online forum [duplicate]

I teach a course, every week I assign homework. I put several hours to choose the right homework problems which cover the course material and permit them to be prepared for the exams. I encourage ...
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16 votes
1 answer
768 views

Ethics of conducting research on a class

I'm a repeat Teaching Assistant in a fairly large (100-200 students/semester) core, required CS course at a large, private US research university. I'm very interested in researching what factors ...
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to mark student reports more efficiently

I have been assigned to mark student reports for an engineering coursework, which mainly involves the use of a software. The main content of each report is around 15 pages. There are 45 reports in ...
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9 votes
5 answers
2k views

How would a small liberal arts college view a PhD from Germany or the UK? Factors other than teaching ops?

Main concern: I am looking at PhD programs in Germany and the UK (vs US programs). Ideally, I would like to end up at a small liberal arts college (I got my BA from one). So I know I want a program ...
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

How to deal with unruly, unengaged students who complain about me?

I got a job 6 months ago as a university lecturer. I was assigned two subjects with the same students. Due to COVID-19, classes are online and lectures are recorded. From the beginning, the majority ...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

What to do in recitation?

Forgive me if this is not the right place to ask pedagogical questions, but it seemed the most appropriate. I am a TA for a programming/CS course. This is my first time teaching recitation and I'm ...
4 votes
1 answer
422 views

Seeking advice about teaching track vs research

I applied to a university that has overall okay world rankings in UK (though I believe it is R2), and seems like a good place to work at as an assistant prof, however it is teaching track. Currently, ...
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143 votes
12 answers
55k 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 ...
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