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184 votes

A student keeps using a native language while asking questions in the class when the course is taught in English

If you want a non-confrontation approach, simply repeat the question in English before answering it. Hearing the translation may help the student in question see how to phrase their questions in ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
167 votes

What to do about students who miss my lectures and then want me to repeat entire material?

Is it reasonable for them to ask me to teach everything from scratch because they couldn't attend the class? No, it's not. If a student wants to engage in extra-curricular activities during lecture ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
164 votes
Accepted

What is the best practice to deal with students who sit in the back and laugh at other students' questions?

In my opinion, you should take this seriously. What you are observing is bullying. The students that are asking questions, and trying to participate, need to know that you have their back. For example,...
academic's user avatar
  • 12.8k
146 votes
Accepted

Is it appropriate for professors to use the f*** word during lectures?

You're in a place where swearing, especially when not directed at another person or used as abuse/slur/bullying/etc, just isn't that big of a deal among adults, so I do think this is mostly a cultural ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 120k
129 votes
Accepted

How should I deal with very negative feedback from some students?

Could I get some suggestion on how do I manage in such time? Is it normal for a early-age academia? No, this is common for academics of any age. Anonymous evaluations are notoriously a valve for ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 136k
129 votes

Why do some professors not recommend any text books for a course?

Reasons why I do not use textbooks: Most textbooks in my experience are bad. Most students do not read them (probably because they are bad). They are expensive. They do not align with how I want ...
Austin Henley's user avatar
109 votes
Accepted

Why wouldn't a professor allow a student to record audio of his lecture?

This is a subjective question, but common reasons I have heard (and reasons I would have) include: Fear of students editing records to manipulate what you said Fear of having a mistake you made taken ...
NMJD's user avatar
  • 1,606
105 votes
Accepted

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

If you do this for a minority, then you will have to do it every time a few students have some excuse. I suggest that you don’t consider this and make it clear that if they miss lectures then it is ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 28.1k
99 votes

What to do about students who miss my lectures and then want me to repeat entire material?

Have you considered recording your lectures? Doing so and giving free access to your students allows them maximum agency in trading off attending lectures with other social/academic activities, and ...
MichaelChirico's user avatar
88 votes

Should a TA point out a professor's mistake while attending their lecture?

It depends on the type of mistake. All mistakes must get fixed to make sure the students don't learn anything wrong. However, how to best fix the mistake depends on the situation. If it is a small ...
user2705196's user avatar
  • 5,384
86 votes

Is it appropriate for professors to use the f*** word during lectures?

This is just British culture for you. Consider it part of your learning experience. British people are generally polite and patient, sometimes even exceedingly so, but will from time to time emphasise ...
Wandering Ex-Academic's user avatar
81 votes
Accepted

Quoting Keynes in a lecture

Opinion, of course, but I think it is fine. It is often quoted in fact. While your students probably still think of themselves as immortal, they almost certainly aren't. No one should really take ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 371k
81 votes

What is the best practice to deal with students who sit in the back and laugh at other students' questions?

I'm afraid my response would not be as diplomatic as those suggested in the other answers. This concerns last year undergraduate students. You are dealing with adults. Moreover, you are dealing with ...
acvill's user avatar
  • 767
71 votes

Can I suggest that my professor use slides instead of writing everything on the board?

You’re not in charge of delivering lectures, and if the instructor has chosen to write on the board they have reasons to do so. Writing on a board slows the pace and is often better at retaining the ...
ZeroTheHero's user avatar
  • 27.3k
70 votes
Accepted

The overwhelming silence in shy classes

I think the best way to deal with this as an instructor is to set the tone right from the first day. Make it clear you want an interactive class room, and that includes the students asking questions ...
Corvus's user avatar
  • 18.1k
68 votes

How should I deal with very negative feedback from some students?

I have a different view on such feedback and here is how I deal with it. First of all, the anonymous comments are a great feedback and they are generally true. Second, students, especially younger ...
Arthur Tarasov's user avatar
68 votes
Accepted

Alternatives to sewing (or any habit) to stay focused in class

If sewing helps you learn, consider bringing it to an in-person lecture. In a large lecture hall, I seriously doubt anyone will notice/care In a more intimate class, it could be worth asking the ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70k
67 votes

Why do lecturers not just assume all students have read the book?

The answer may depend on what type of course we are talking about, here I'll focus on STEM. The most obvious answer would be "because it would be a false assumption". Many students don't read the ...
Aubreal's user avatar
  • 1,142
67 votes

The more I improve the quality of my course, the worse the student evaluation becomes. Should I provide low quality lectures?

One observation, based on my own habit of completely redoing classes, is new syllabuses suffer severely from lack of tuning. In practice, a "worse" syllabus which I've taught a few times ...
Owen Reynolds's user avatar
63 votes
Accepted

A student keeps using a native language while asking questions in the class when the course is taught in English

My suggestion is that you either let it go, if everyone understands what the student has said, or that you explore the situation with the student during office hours. Perhaps it is just easier for ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 371k
61 votes
Accepted

How to deal with students who refuse to do anything except take exams?

Welcome to higher education! Students will use formal assesement to guide their learning, and no amount of cajoling, or appealing to their sense professional or intellectual propriety will change that....
Ian Sudbery's user avatar
  • 40.5k
59 votes

Why wouldn't a professor allow a student to record audio of his lecture?

One more to NMJD's list: privacy of other students. Enrollment and participation in a class is FERPA-protected in the United States. Students may share comments or information that they do not want ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 40.4k
59 votes
Accepted

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
55 votes

How should I deal with very negative feedback from some students?

In the examples you gave, one stood out as maybe actually useful; I hope to use it as an example for my suggested approach: You do not teach what is in the book. Plus, you ask very difficult ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 120k
54 votes

The overwhelming silence in shy classes

I have observed a class which was taught alternately by two different instructors. One of the instructors (G) almost always immediately got interaction and involvement from many members of the class. ...
flamingpenguin's user avatar
52 votes

Mimic lecturing on blackboard, facing audience

Do not assume that facing the audience is actually better. It depends on the type of content. For example, if you are explaining a diagram (detailed hydraulic system for instance), you want the ...
guest's user avatar
  • 449
52 votes

First-time teaching PhD students make course assignment way too demanding for a new lecture

The professor in charge of this course replies my email that he won't discuss with an anonymous email address, and could perhaps set up a meeting including these 2 lectures if I send it with ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
51 votes

Quoting Keynes in a lecture

As a British person, I don't understand why you'd even consider that this quote might be inappropriate. If you feel that it's a good way to get your message across, there's no reason not to use it. ...
David Richerby's user avatar
50 votes

Is hastily writing down the professor's lecture a good way of learning?

Prior to electronic media generally and after the start of mass, rather than individual instruction, this was the primary way of teaching a lot of things. It can be a good start to learning, actually. ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 371k
50 votes

Can I suggest that my professor use slides instead of writing everything on the board?

You can always suggest, the question is whether it will have any effect. The issue, at its core, is that if you're a new professor, there are a million demands on your time. You need to teach, you ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar

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