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114 votes

How to deal with professors who don't follow the text

If your undergraduate lectures were perfectly predictable, following the book exactly, and you showed up perfectly prepared to each one, then they were actually completely useless. You could have just ...
knzhou's user avatar
  • 3,568
69 votes
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Is it common to ask professors for an editable copy of their lecture notes (so I can improve them)?

No, in my experience this is not common. But that shouldn't stop you from asking. Your suggestion is certainly within the reasonable parameters in which simply offering your help wouldn't be offensive....
user2705196's user avatar
  • 5,389
62 votes

Is buying lecture notes wrong?

I don't see anything wrong. If it were answers to exam questions, or even homework, then I'd be concerned. But the notes give you an alternate explanation of many topics and that is very useful (and ...
Buffy's user avatar
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59 votes
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What's the meaning of "Topics in ... "?

"Topics in" usually means that the content is not meant to be introductory (i.e., the reader is assumed to already have some prior familiarity with the subject), and not meant to cover &...
darij grinberg's user avatar
40 votes

How to deal with professors who don't follow the text

I am a retired lecturer, so here is my perspective. As an undergrad, you were part of a sausage machine, taking kids from school and running them through a training process where the competent ones ...
andy256's user avatar
  • 555
40 votes
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Why are online lecture notes usually not accessible to non-students?

Surely 'cuz you're not paying the tuition for the class... To put it bluntly, that's what tuition is for: to give you access to class material and instructor time. I doubt having coursework material ...
ZeroTheHero's user avatar
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25 votes

Ethics of making students purchase lecture notes

(This answer is based on US university practices. I don't know if it is directly applicable to Canada, but the two systems generally tend to be similar.) It's hard to be sure, but this might be a ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
23 votes

How to deal with professors who don't follow the text

I'd like to offer my perspective as a second year mathematics graduate student. I have found that the courses I learnt the most from were those in which the instructor did not follow the prescribed ...
The Amplitwist's user avatar
23 votes

Is buying lecture notes wrong?

There's nothing ethically wrong with using resources outside of class for the purpose of teaching yourself the material. If anything, going beyond what you are given in the course to educate yourself ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 8,690
23 votes

Why are online lecture notes usually not accessible to non-students?

In my observation, this change is a recent epiphenomenon that is tied to the widespread organizational deployment of learning management systems (LMS). Thirty years ago, course notes were not ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 189k
21 votes

Where can an academic put their lecture slides for posterity?

Archive.org (not to be confused with arxiv.org) aims to be the world's library. According to its FAQ, The Internet Archive focuses on preservation and providing access to digital cultural artifacts ...
Peter Taylor's user avatar
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20 votes
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Lecture slides before or after?

Students generally prefer to have the lecture slides beforehand, and you should let them make their own decisions about whether having the slides out during class will help their ability to ...
user79256's user avatar
  • 432
19 votes

Colleague Plagiarizes Entire Course Content

Talk to your colleague. Not doing anything is ethically dubious, while talking to a superior escalates the issue. Besides, broadly speaking, when there's a dispute it's preferable to first talk to the ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 131k
18 votes

Why are online lecture notes usually not accessible to non-students?

In practice, the decisive questions for an instructor posting their notes online are: Are you, as a writer, sufficiently proud of your own notes that you won't be embarrassed to see them circulate ...
darij grinberg's user avatar
17 votes
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Is it conventional to point out harmless typos in mathematical derivations in lecture notes?

I think it is a good idea. While the typos you find may be harmless in their respective contexts, they can be a hindrance to properly understanding the concepts, particularly for students who find the ...
GoodDeeds's user avatar
  • 4,116
17 votes

How to deal with professors who don't follow the text

Your problem isn't that the professor doesn't follow the text. Your real problem (as clarified in your edit) is an unusual aspect of your question that nobody has addressed. It is your need to "...
usul's user avatar
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16 votes

Is not providing lecture notes to math students really beneficial to them?

Writing something down absolutely does help you remember it, as more different aspects of your brain are engaged with the material at once. See, for example, this CogSci.SE post on the matter. The ...
jakebeal's user avatar
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14 votes
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Preparing lecture notes and references?

There are three different sorts of bibliographic entries in your situation, I think: suggestions for further reading (for the students), acknowledgement of your sources, and historical references. One ...
paul garrett's user avatar
13 votes

Is not providing lecture notes to math students really beneficial to them?

I think your three points for consideration may all contain some truth. Let's see. Is providing lecture notes beneficial? According to my own experiences (as lecturer), there is no clear-cut answer. ...
Walter's user avatar
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12 votes
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Do I need to include citations when writing my own lecture notes, if I make them public?

First, I think we should maintain good standards of ethics and scholarship for all public/published documents, regardless of whether they've been through peer-review. Thus, even for "standard" ...
paul garrett's user avatar
12 votes

How to deal with professors who don't follow the text

The typical professor will possess many bits of insight into their field that cannot be found in any textbook. So you are simply asking for the wrong thing. Asking for a professor who teaches only ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
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12 votes
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How to effectively take notes when the professor reads off their lecture notes or presents slides?

I would ask the professor to make their slides available the day before the lecture. If they agree then download them as necessary and print them out. If they permit it, you can also record the ...
Buffy's user avatar
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11 votes
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How to write horizontally across the blackboard while keeping handwriting as horizontal as possible?

Writing works different on different heights, so train writing at different heights. For me it is easiest to write horizontally if the baseline is about the height of my mouth. Writing at the height ...
Dirk's user avatar
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10 votes
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Teaching using bad material

As a compromise, given you are staying with the existing slides, consider saying things like "For purposes of this course, the definition of X is [what the slides say] but many people use [more ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
10 votes

Teaching using bad material

Sorry, but I don't see room for compromise here assuming the case is fairly stated. It is an ethical issue about what is taught to students. It is not acceptable to "teach" them things that are known ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 367k
10 votes

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

There are two parties involved in this, you and your professor. Let us think from both your perspectives. You wish to help your professor and also want to ensure that the notes are of the best ...
kosmos's user avatar
  • 2,404
10 votes

How to deal with professors who don't follow the text

If the problem is a lack of repetition of the material, because your lecturers are not repeating the contents of a book verbatim, then you could consider repeating the material by yourself before ...
Servaes's user avatar
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10 votes
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Colleague Plagiarizes Entire Course Content

A good strategy to address your concerns without risking offense might be to take the collaborative angle, since you are both working together on the same course. Instead of directly expressing your ...
J.Galt's user avatar
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9 votes
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Should I copyright my notes?

Two misconceptions here: I need to "copyright" my intellectual property to protect it. - No. Unless you explicitly indicate otherwise, you already automatically get exclusive copyright to your notes. ...
Trusly's user avatar
  • 2,925
9 votes

How to deal with professors who don't follow the text

I certainly grant in advance that tastes vary... Based on my own student days' attendance in various lectures, and on my own preferences for teaching, I try to think in terms of "added value"...
paul garrett's user avatar

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