128

As someone who's been out of academia for a while, I would like to offer a different perspective. Yes, occupying your co-advisor's attention when the roof is on fire is tone-deaf. However: you have acquired skills that are obviously in high demand these days, and are thrown into a (hopefully) once-in-a lifetime situation to apply these skills. Especially ...


116

This is a question to the programme leader. Frankly in a scenario where cheating is just waiting for an invitation, relative marking is grossly inappropriate. It is not just giving cheaters an unfair advantage, it gives the honest ones an unfair disadvantage. Ask for guarantees that cheating by others will not directly disadvantage you.


72

There are really two parts to the Chair's question: How much additional work have you had to do so far? What additional work do you anticipate going forward? Are there any time savings that should also go into the calculation? What is the appropriate renumeration for that work? You should be able to estimate the answer to (1), and explain where the number ...


64

I also teach a data and programming course, though I mainly use Python. Is it possible for you to shift grading away from an exam and toward something else? A project, for example? Before going back to academia I spent years working as a policy researcher, and exam conditions simply aren't a realistic test of real-life coding abilities. For that matter, ...


60

Yes. I had a similar experience where my agency restricted travel and did not allow me to present. In my case, I listed that the presentation was delivered by someone else who could attend. Matching the style of your CV, I would write something like: Academic, F. My cool title. Awesome conference. City, State. March 2020. Invited oral presentation. ...


55

How about using something other than Zoom? Other softwares support features that can help with this. Moreover there are some serious security and privacy concerns about Zoom (see e.g. this statement by the FBI and this investigation by the NY attorney general; Bruce Schneier has written an overview of the concerns here). In our department we use ...


53

Universities around the world are trying very hard right now to find ways to balance students’ rights to privacy and dignity with difficult practical questions concerning the transition to remote teaching and testing. Regarding testing, the reality is that cheating is a common occurrence in many places even in normal times when testing is done in the ...


46

I would advise two things. First, take the exam honestly. But also complain to the university and the professor that you find the conditions to be conducive to cheating and you question the fairness and validity of the exam under these conditions. But you have to do the second part early, perhaps now, before the test is given and certainly before you are ...


41

I decided to elevate my comment to an answer. When this is all over, and most of your readers will probably know multiple people who died during the crisis, this would not be a good [look]. This is a global crisis that is only just beginning. By the time the dust settles, millions may have died from the virus alone. It would be a rare reader who does not ...


36

First, a two hour time limit might be difficult to enforce or to guarantee, especially if it uses a real-time clock. At some level of scale you may start to find that some students didn't get the exam paper or were unable to return it by the deadline. So, I'd start by rethinking if a time limit of less than a day is really essential to your exam. Second, ...


30

To me, it would seem unusual and tongue-in-cheek to acknowledge a person or organization who did not make any conscious effort to assist you. Acknowledgements are typically used as a means of recognizing the effort of others and thanking them for their contribution. Your local government's quarantine may have incidentally benefited you, but no effort was put ...


29

Can I rightfully refuse to use the school's platform? TL;DR: legally, probably not, but you are still more or less in the right according to the norms of academia. Longer answer: This isn’t so much about rights in the legal sense. The underlying context is that there is a longstanding tradition in academia that faculty own the rights to written (and other)...


29

We have the same kind of procedure at my university in europe. My advisor put it this way: This online testing is an offer for those who want/need to use it. It is far from ideal, but if you really need to take that exam now, you have the possibility. If it is not so urgent, you can wait until exams can be held at the university, though the time for that ...


27

I think a lot of us are dealing with this right now. Here's what I and some of my colleagues are doing. Open book exams: As a lot of people are saying, there's no practical way to police students' use of outside resources, so don't. Write the exam with the expectation that they are using notes and possibly even Google, and let them know that. You don't want ...


27

A signed offer letter is normally a valid contract. Usually it is the only contract document. Only someone who has read the offer letter can give you a perfect answer to this question. They have announced their intention to break the contract. That is illegal unless the offer letter says otherwise. Moving on is probably your best option. There are ...


26

As Dan Romik’s answer suggests, I think it is unlikely you’ll be able to get an individual exception from this policy. However, you can give polite and respectful feedback explaining that you find it highly intrusive. That would, I think, be perfectly appropriate. It’s true that, as other answers say, everyone (including both students and professors) has ...


22

The features discussed in the comments seem sufficient in the case that the organizer knows the participants, e.g. classes, committee meetings, etc. I don't think this question has a single right answer. I'm going to answer for the case where the conference is open to interested academics and the organizer doesn't know all the potential participants. This ...


21

There will be some flexibility for the assignment(s) due around the closing / travel / quarantine times - all you have to do is talk to your professor. However, you need to do this as soon as possible - if you wait 2 months it may not be accepted as people are making exceptions now.


21

If most students cheat and the grading is done in a relative way, then this disqualifies the test as a fair test. You should then cheat, as it's the instructor's responsibility to implement a fair system, it's not your duty to have to suffer the consequences of a broken system. It's not any different from facing justice in a country where defendants bribe ...


20

Yes, it’s fine to email her, but the email should be a lot shorter than your post here. Keep it to an absolute minimum and spare your poor overworked co-adviser having to read any unnecessary apologies, hand-wringing, expressions of sympathy and whatnot. Something like this might work: Dear co-adviser, I’m following up on our meeting from last week. As you ...


20

I agree with @Captain Emacs. My professor did something similar. The difference being he did not monitor us via webcam, and told us to simply sign a statement affirming we would not cheat. I did not cheat, and suffered badly. I scored nearly the lowest grade in the entire class. I scored above average on exams before COVID-19. My assumption is that the ...


18

Can you wall off part of your room by hanging a sheet from the ceiling? Then you could only show them the part of your room that you take the exam in. Just an idea.


18

You don't have to be the person who decides what to do in this situation. Actually, there are many reasons to remove yourself from making further decisions. Take it back to the administration of your Department / University, give them a fair account of what's happened, and let them decide what to do.


17

I would say yes, provided that you label it correctly. Just add a sentence that the conference was cancelled for health reasons. You can also say that the talk was accepted, but not delivered because ... For some conferences the talk will be in the proceedings or follow up journal. It that case your write up will be available to people in any case. In fact, ...


17

This is not a forum for discussing legal questions, and in any case it seems to me that to try to pursue the matter through legal means would lead you down a rabbit hole from which your academic career would never emerge in one piece. As others have said in the comments, a postdoc position obtained through legal coercion is not one worth having. Since you ...


17

It’s totally appropriate to point out to your professor that your grade is suffering for technical reasons having to do with the online format of the exam. If your professor is reasonable she will not be in the least bit offended by this. By the way, we are pretty much all dealing with issues of this sort nowadays. I experienced something similar just a few ...


16

I don't see any harm in sending this co-adviser the work you've completed, provided you include a cover message saying that you're aware how busy she is with the high-priority work on the COVID-19 epidemic but you'd really appreciate it if she could find time to suggest what you should do next. That was assuming that, when you wrote "she tells me what to do ...


16

We had the same problem and ended up with a solution like this: The seminar series web page contains information about the seminar program, plus instructions for joining the seminar mailing list. The Zoom link is shared only through the seminar mailing list some time before the event. There is no password. The mailing list subscriptions can be moderated, ...


15

Make the question non-amenable to Googling Many of colleagues used to do what you mentioned: Having exams in labs and cutting off internet/network access to isolate their terminals. All with good intentions of not cheating. A different approach that I implemented was rethinking what I want to test them on and use that as the guiding source and create the ...


15

Regarding remote conferences, these have been successful. Often the motivating factor has been mitigating climate impact. For example, Yale Climate Connections wrote an article giving advice for running virtual conferences. Author Sara Peach presents three kinds of virtual conferencing, all of which have been done successfully: remote presentations in a ...


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