Hot answers tagged

174

Let the grade stand, but point out your error. The principle I try to follow is that students shouldn't be negatively affected by faculty mistakes (or that such effects should be minimized). I wouldn't suggest adding an additional assignment to maintain the grade, since this is effectively another kind of penalty. But I would suggest being transparent ...


81

Yes you are. Point 4 is downright abuse of power. You are not in any way obliged to provide free tuition to your advisor’s child! If your institution has reasonable management, you reporting this would result in severe disciplinary action (I think I would have my tenure clock pushed and have something on my record for something like this). Even if you were ...


61

You should never penalize a student for taking the time to come to office hours (or whatever) and seeking additional help or clarification. Not only would it make it less likely for that particular student to ever ask you for that type of help again, but it could very well disincentivize other students as well.


47

On more than one occasion, a student has pointed out a resource to me that I am already familiar with. In those situations, I always thank the student but don't always mention that I was familiar with it. I don't lie and say that I hadn't seen it before, but see no reason to bring it up (since doing so might make them feel slightly disappointed). If it is ...


39

Obviously, as other answers indicate, yes, your supervisor is exploiting you - plain and simple. But here's a suggestion regarding what you should do about it: Collect evidence on how you've been exploited/abused: Emails Letters Written documents indicating what you are required to do, but also what you're doing (e.g. if your supervisor's daughter writes ...


31

Beer and Circus calls this the "student-faculty non-aggression pact": Faculty provide an easy class and don't look too hard into cheating Students happily take the easy grade and leave the professor free to do research I wouldn't say this is "the rule"; plenty of faculty do an awesome job teaching. But, I'm not surprised to hear your report -- some faculty ...


27

I'm addressing just the first and what seems to be primary question: Is this professor's behavior ethical? and Would I be able to bring this as a complaint to a higher person in the department (since I have email evidence that he did not have knowledge of this data set prior to my informing him). Quite simply, no, I don't think your advisor violated any ...


25

Yes, definitely he is using you. Let's break it down one by one. Point 1: Drafting professors' email is a thing that many Ph.D. students do occasionally. But requiring the student to stop doing the experiment in favor of drafting a personal email is not something a good supervisor does. Point 2: Can be a legit point. Although doing it all the time is ...


22

You pointed out a dataset and had a 15 minute conversation with your advisor, and now you are expecting credit for it. This certainly does not warrant authorship (even under the most lenient definitions of contribution I can think of), and perhaps not even an acknowledgement. Bringing this up to the department head will not do anything to help since it ...


18

Let's flip sides here. Your professors have pointed you to many ideas and useful resources (e.g. textbooks) in the subjects you study. Some years later, you will probably be writing a paper based on the techniques you learnt. Will you credit all your professors in it?


15

To me, it is actually odd to see all answers but one say that you should leave the points as is. I do agree however that this situation should be handled somewhere in the policy, shared with the students at the beginning of the course, and this particular instance handled leniently if no such policy exists. When I studied, it was (implicitly) understood for ...


15

For many of the reasons you state, I would let the original grade stand. I viewed my job as one of teaching, not grading. Overall, the change in the grade will probably be a minor thing, but the effect on the student's psyche should be considered. However, you can also take advantage of the situation to create a teaching moment. It may be too late for this ...


11

The key to answering this question is what the syllabus says. The syllabus is like a contract between the professor and the class describing what happens in different situations that may occur during a term. If the syllabus or departmental guidelines say how to handle the situation, then it makes things easy. (e.g. if you ask for a re-grade in one question, ...


8

There is an alternative that avoids the question asked here entirely and would even be more valuable to your readers. Think about what it is about that equation (or other question) that makes it interesting. Abstract from that to a more general question that also covers the specific case. Then present a way of thinking about that class of problems that ...


8

A student contacts you and expresses an interest to work with you on your research. The student has funding contingent on your letter of acceptance and your approval of their research statement. Ask the student to prepare a research statement. Tell him/her that you will provide all the necessary resources but that you will not write the statement for them ...


8

If I found out I was intentionally deceived by a student after telling them they could not take my class, I would alert my dean (I would go beyond the department chair) that said student was violating the rules and spirit of the exchange program. At a minimum I would expect that student to no longer be able to take advantage of the exchange and have their ...


7

You could consider this not just from an ethical standpoint, but also from a statistical one. I remember I overheard a podcast where the commentator couldn't understand "how could correcting an error in data ever be wrong, if you know it's an error?" They gave the example of looking at temperature data, seeing something was off, finding a 37 entered and ...


7

Edit: question has changed. You probably cannot do much now. Once I realized what was happening, I started assigning zeros to the offending students, in accordance with University policy. As a TA, you should have spoken to the professor about the situation before taking any action. Student misconduct is squarely in the professor's area of ...


6

It definitely sucks when you feel like you're not getting credit for your work, and in applied math, it is certainly not standard practice to omit mention of PhD students' contributions. In fact, I've seen many presentations where professors and industry leaders show group pictures of their entire lab, and they're proud of the team effort. However, passive ...


6

You should clearly state the policy in the syllabus and verbally on the first day of class, and when you hand back exams. A reasonable policy is that re-grades may well result in a lower grade. In my 7+ years of college teaching, I didn't do that. I would do so today. I found students to be very persistent about getting that extra point, in spite of the ...


6

Let the higher grade stand but point out that it should have been given no points. You do not want to punish the student for coming for help but also want to let them know that what they answered should be given no marks so that they expect it in the future.


5

is this academic misconduct? That depends. Your thesis is published, just not in a journal. It’s published as part of your alma mater’s repository and anyone can access it, your advisor in particular. Regarding the figures: it really depends on how they did it. If they copied them without citing your thesis that’s pretty clear cut plagiarism which is wrong ...


5

When marking student work I have always told them that if they believe I have made a mistake in the marking then they should identify the error and then discuss it with me. If, after working through the question, it is shown that I have made an error and they should have received a higher grade then their grade is adjusted. If it is found that I made an ...


4

I experienced a related situation when I was supervising a written exam as TA: I caught a student cheating who actually (though probably accidentally) admitted cheating ("I couldn't read anything" - yea but already trying to read other's answers is cheating). When telling my prof, he decided to nevertheless have the exam graded regularly. His explanation: ...


4

Publishing a paper omitting the main contributor is plagiarism, as well as an ethical violation. Publishing an already-published paper isn't plagiarism (assuming the original authors haven't changed), but it almost surely violates a journal's originality policies. Both will likely lead to retraction. The first will require hard proof, but the second shouldn'...


4

Another point to consider is that exchange programs like this exist only by mutual agreement between the two institutions. If the large university starts to feel that the program is being abused by tricks like yours, or is otherwise more trouble than it's worth, they could pull out. This would deprive your fellow Small College students of this educational ...


3

TL;DR: you could write a letter to your program director. However, success may be elusive, since the situation may be constrained by forces outside of the control of you and your lecturers. It is worth addressing. The official course evaluations are the appropriate place for this, so you have taken the right approach. However, depending on the situation at ...


3

As suggested in Ethan Bolkers comment: Ask the teacher, either directly or through the student and aim for a joint or collaborative web posting. Copying the problem from the exam verbatim is at the very least questionable. I'm not sure whether they are legal copyright issues but you shouldn't do it anyway. Using the key idea of the problem, rephrased in ...


3

It is totally fine to give the student the lower grade once you find that thee initial grade was a mistake IF AND ONLY IF this policy was clearly stated beforehand and publically (meaning all the students of this class have been warned). In fact, I would recommend doing this since it would help to prevent students going to you to try to increase their grades ...


3

In theory, the internet is just like books and notes: if these are allowed then it makes sense that internet is allowed too. But of course these days, due to the sheer volume of stuff, it is very difficult to make sure as a Professor that the problem you thought of giving on the exam does not appear somewhere, for example here on SE. I say give your ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible