250

No. It’s not appropriate and this is an obvious, blatant abuse of authority. I have a word in mind to describe this professor, but unfortunately am not free to disclose it as I am under an NDA. (It starts with an “i” and ends with a “t”). Edit: to those asking “why not?”: teaching the class is the professor’s job. He is literally (in the literal sense of “...


157

You are responsible for teaching the students to the best of your ability, and to judge their capacities to use what they have learned. That judgment is made based on their grades. So you have several things to think about here. Are you teaching the best you can? Teaching does not mean "downloading facts", as I'm sure you're aware. It means "...


147

He may or may not be "protecting his ideas", but, in fact, teaching has as a goal the dissemination of ideas. If one wants to keep secrets or have proprietary stuff, don't pretend to teach a friggin' class! :)


145

As a professor, one has to assume that all past exam questions are available to students. Some student organizations debrief members after exams and capture the questions for such an exam bank. Some professors realize this and take action accordingly, not reusing questions, or not using enough of them to matter substantially. Others think, probably ...


140

As an outsider this seems ridiculous. I think a quick email to the chair of the department saying that you have an advisee who is worried about BIO302 (or whatever the number is) and the running component. It seems reasonable to ask if that is actually a requirement (which it clearly is, but the department chair may not know it) and if it is, what course ...


125

Different areas of work look differently. A mechanic, a tailor or a miner perform visible physical operations and deliver an objective and measurable result by hour. Compared with them, office work may seem lazy: people sit at their desks, they are not sweating, can have toilet and drink breaks whenever they want, etc. Also, the result of their work seems ...


105

If the class is about microbiology, the students’ grade should depend on their knowledge of microbiology, and only on that. (Edit: to clarify, “knowledge” covers things like lab skills and other things that have a connection to microbiology but aren’t strictly theoretical in nature. But not running. Definitely not running.) I’ll assume based on OP’s ...


100

I wanted to ask whether his refusal for recommendation letters is reasonable My personal opinion is that if you worked in his lab for a year (satisfactorily), it is unreasonable to refuse a letter. All the more so if you had other good interactions (TAing, etc.) with him. and also ask for some advice on how to handle this situation! Unfortunately, my ...


98

Do not fall into the trap of assuming that "Value of work done" is proportional to "Hours spent at a desk". Some HR departments do think this way, but it's rarely true.


95

Take the example of a medical student. Do you want to pass someone who does not have the necessary knowledge to treat patients correctly? It is your duty to make sure that only the ones who know what they are doing will pass. This may be less strict in other subjects but the principle is the same. --- EDIT --- Another example where this becomes clear would ...


95

I think the point is, or should be, that having diagnostic question be "secret" is perverse. That is, why not tell people directly what we want them to know? And why not let them see representative examples of what we want them to do? Sure, some students are not so much interested in learning as in the grade... but should we corrupt the scholarly aspects ...


87

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 ...


87

First, there’s some important background information to consider about professors, which is that they are human and occasionally make mistakes just like everyone else. In particular, as can happen to anyone in any other workplace or general life context, they may sometimes forget what they said to whom and when, or say something they didn’t fully intend, e.g....


85

I don't know what your university regulations are, but there must be something in there that says that a professor cannot refuse teaching to their students, no matter what you sign or don't sign. It's time to ask your student union/representatives/whatever you have to reach out to your dean and demand a different solution.


84

One possible option is to prepare a syllabus for the course which adds some legitimate graded work: homework, an exam, a paper or project, anything. Then, email it to your chair, mention that you want to evaluate the students' mastery of the material and hence devised your own grading rubric, and ask for her approval. If she approves, or if she switches ...


72

The student's health status or physique is not of consideration here. If the situation is as the student described, the prof's behavior is simply untenable -- if for no other reason than 25% of contact hours being spent on nonsense. Every student in the class should be incensed. The TAs should be upset that they're spending their time this way. The ...


66

Another point to consider is that cross-registration 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 ...


63

If a professor at a university explicitly states an exam will contain "multiple choice questions and true/false questions" What you described they said is not the same as if they had said "The exam will be 100 percent multiple choice questions." So I think having 20% not multiple choice questions is perfectly fine.


59

In this kind of hearing, evidence will be paramount. "I know I did not cheat" isn't sufficient - that's just a denial. You need more, e.g.: Can you show that you could not possibly have known about these 2 reports? Do you have drafts of the report, preferably with time stamps, as you were writing it? Did you work with anyone else? If so, can they vouch for ...


52

The past is the past and cannot be undone. Whether you are ashamed or not, you need to move on. But you don't need to invite external punishment for past misdeeds that haven't harmed others. It is best if you do your own work, of course, since that maximizes your learning. It is worst if you copy since you haven't really learned anything. In between is ...


50

Here's an experiment you might try: Next time you see one of those "lazy" instructors staring at the computer screen, ask them how many graduate students they are advising. Then ask if you can read the latest drafts of all the theses and dissertations for each one of those students. Then ask if you can read all the latest drafts of the papers that this ...


48

Ultimately you aren't responsible for the behavior of your students nor for their bad decisions. You aren't responsible, either, for how they react to a failure. For some students, as I have seen, a failure can be a wake-up that gets them onto a better path. You certainly aren't responsible for the terrible way that we finance higher education in the US as ...


46

I'd bet pounds to pesos that this course is akin to the Geology 101 course my brother took (at a major football university) with most of the football team (he wasn't a student athlete, just took the course) that was commonly referred to as "Rocks for Jocks". However, that doesn't mean (as Buffy mentioned) that the course can't benefit the students. If I ...


46

We cannot say if they are reasonable. We only know the details you provide and, moreover, we are not judges. But this is the wrong question. Why should it matter for you if we say the prof is reasonable or not? There are many unreasonable people in the world. Among those there are professors, students, astronauts, beggars, social workers, farmers,.. with ...


44

If you were really passionate about something, you'd know because you'd want to do it in exclusion of all else. You think about that thing even if you're bathing, eating, etc. Having said that I can understand what you're asking because if we define passion this way, precious few people would be passionate about anything that they can actually make a ...


38

If it bothers you that a small group of students had access to previous exams then you should understand that a professor is giving all students a fair opportunity by posting previous exams. If a bad student with access to unauthorized past exams gets the same score as a good student with lecture notes only, then there is a problem. If both have access to ...


36

Your mistake is to assume that people who are only in the department for a few hours a day are only doing a few hours' work per day. They're probably working at home, too, or in cafes.


35

The instructor is paid to teach, not write a book. If the book gets in the way of his/her teaching duties, either s/he give up teaching OR give up the book. Moreover, I doubt this instructor can prevent random people walking in his/her classroom so the whole NDA is 100%-proof shhhhhhhhugar.


31

Easy answer: it's clearly unethical. Moreover it violates school policy and can lead to disciplinary action when discovered. You might try politely to arrange an exception to the policy. Check with the professors to make sure that would be acceptable to them. (It will be if what they are doing, correctly, is following the rules. It might not be if they ...


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