New answers tagged

2

Citation Citations are important. It's usually going to take several classes to teach undergrads how to do it properly. "The professionals" (i.e. career academics) use tools, like Mendeley and BibTex; it's perfectly alright for students to learn to do it too. Actually, writing a long paper without a reference manager is a really bad idea. You're going to ...


1

Some departments need a lot of TAs. Math, for example, since there are a lot of people taking elementary courses. If there aren't enough graduate students in the department to cover the need they might need to look elsewhere, but probably within the same institution. But this would vary a lot between institutions. I don't find it to be odd, but neither do I ...


0

As a student, I significantly prefer getting to choose my partner(s), especially if assignments take more than an hour a week. The best solution I have seen to deal with requests to change partners was a form where two people would fill it out to become partners and leave their old partners. The old partners who were being left had no say in the matter, ...


1

Others have answered quite well in usual terms, but let me put a different perspective here: Forget about being a teacher, imagine you are their manager In classes, relationships are usually disposable. In the workplace they're not. At university, bad teachers usually get away with being abusive of students. Slacker or poorly behaved partners also get ...


2

I would let the person go off and do the project by themself, but I wouldn't let them join another team and unfairly have 3 people to a team while others only have 2. If the 1 person really is doing all the work, and the other team member isn't doing anything.. then the 1 person will be more then happy to go solo on the project. (Many group projects can be ...


8

The student made a request for a reason, whatever that reason is, and ignoring her reason is possibly hurting her education. What I mean is this: I've been teaching at the university level for decades and what I've learned through the years is that students don't come to me with requests to break the status quo, to be different from everyone else, to do ...


-1

I'm missing a crucial bit of information here: as TA(s), do your observervations of the students indicate that the non-performing student in question does indeed underperform to an extraordinary extent? If not, i.e. the performance difference is inside what is to be expected => I'd say that's the normal range within which students have to learn to ...


2

Talk to your Professor more and ask her to get advice from someone with more experience, because this is a big an potentially challenging issue and you hint that it may rightly or wrongly be about race. If it were me, I think I would have a meeting with the other student (since you have already talked to the first one) and then have a meeting with them ...


1

I am also a student and we often have to work together in groups. My comment is therefore based on personal experience. In group work we have often divided the work so that one does the whole assignment alone and then the other does the next one. If then all of a sudden there is a new mix, this system can no longer function. Maybe a team member has already ...


1

Talk about it with the lecturer/professor in charge of the class as a whole. As a TA, you're in a relatively subordinate position, so naturally when dealing with these sorts of policy-related issues, asking your boss for advice would be a natural first step. It's possible that there's already a policy or procedure in place, in which case you should follow ...


51

I'm surprised that you hadn't foreseen this. Many students have complaints about their randomly-assigned partners - and frankly, many of these complaints are legitimate. I recommend switching partners weekly. This gives three advantages: No one has an unfair advantage (in grades or workload) from having been assigned an awesome partner, or an unfair ...


4

Allow both students to present their work alone or in pair rather than to change teams or make trios. That way, if one of them really is doing all the work then that person will be happier to not feed of a leech while the other will have to start working or fail the course.


84

I would consider asking the student who is not getting along with their partner, whether they would consider leaving their current partner and work on their own from here on out. That way, the student still would have to do all the work on their own, but no longer has someone benefitting from their efforts without contributing. If the student seriously ...


26

As this is a weekly assignment, then I would consider randomly shuffling all the students every two weeks or each week... This forces more communication and reduces the effect of any single poor pairing. It also prevents the "stars" coagulating together permanently and exposes them to the skills of needing to manage teams/partners who are at different ...


8

Working with the same pair for a full semester is already an interesting proposal. When I was a teacher I made sure to randomize pairs. It taught them good communication skills and not to trust anyone directly at their word :P Reshuffling rarely hurts, it exposes the students to working with various people, an important skill in almost ANY field. I do ...


6

tl;dr: Change your 'deadlines' system, to make both your students' and your life easier. For what it's worth, I fully agree with Aaron's answer here. However, I think both his answer and the currently accepted one, fail to address the underlying issue, which is the fact that it "feels" like a valid choice for the student, since there is no realistic ...


0

Treat their studies, including homework, as their job. If they also work in addition to studying, well... many people work two or more jobs. If they are sick for one day, it should not greatly impact their work, unless they are leaving everything until the last minute. If they are sick for longer they should see a doctor and get a medical certificate/note/...


8

There are many very good reasons for keeping strict deadlines. For example, the sub-bullets in Aaron Montgomery's answer are extremely important. Everyone should consider those carefully. That said: For me, the time budget of the instructor is paramount. You have many varied tasks as an academic, and it's common for faculty to have great difficulty keeping ...


21

You talk about empathy towards those asking for extensions, what about those who didn’t? Many students work their butt off to make deadlines and never think of asking for an extension. By granting extensions to some students who don’t have a valid reason (in my book that’d be medical or death/severe illness of human loved one, but your policy can differ), ...


-2

For me, empathy would look like the following: one of the requests is legitimate from a student who has been experiencing medical issues the entire semester. I'm so sorry about your medical issues, which you had no way to anticipate because you didn't know you would catch mono the third week of the semester. I realize that this has set you behind in your ...


5

Have a policy and stick to it. Here are two extremes: "Barring medical issues, due dates are strictly enforced" "Due dates are recommendations only; homework will be accepted for full credit at any time before the final exam" Both of these are fine, though the latter can lead to a lot of work for you. What is not fine is having a policy but allowing ...


3

In principle, I am relatively strict, as I found that students respect not only the lecturer, but themselves more when they are taken seriously and the requirements imposed on them are taken seriously, too. However, if there is a legitimate concern that this particular coursework caused extra difficulties, was particularly challenging, that students may ...


9

My thinking on this issue has changed dramatically over the years, and I now give extensions much more frequently than I used to. (I'm not saying this is necessarily the right course of action, though.) I would advise you to consider some guiding principles at play here: 1) Consider the reason that there's a deadline in the first place, and ponder the ...


48

It sounds to me like you are allowing yourself to be emotionally manipulated by your students, particularly the one (who sounds super obnoxious) who told you about the promise for a luxury car from their parents. It’s indeed important to have empathy, and I find your conscious insistence on practicing empathy every day incredibly noble and admirable — if ...


8

I encourage you to get creative, while simultaneously work hard to make the same rules for everybody in order to avoid succumbing to confirmational bias. Simply put, if the president of the preprofessional club comes to you and asks you for an extension, the tie dye wearing hippy deserves exactly the same answer in a similar situation. It's too easy to ...


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