Darrin Thomas
  • Member for 5 years, 9 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
Why don't colleges make terms shorter and with fewer classes?
69 votes

From an information processing perspective, it is much more beneficial to have four classes over ten weeks than two classes over five weeks. This is because the mind needs the extended time to digest ...

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Establishing authority in the classroom
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62 votes

The position of TA automatically comes with a certain amount of authority, which is referred to as legitimate power. Having said that, you can increase your perceived amount of authority by ...

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Are professors required to perform research as a necessity to teaching?
18 votes

One of the primary differences between tertiary education and K-12 is producing knowledge. At the K-12 level, teachers share knowledge but normally do not create new knowledge. At the university level,...

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Should I bring materials for teaching demonstration?
17 votes

How can you demonstrate your teaching without your teaching materials? I believe that you should for the duration of the teaching demonstration treat the search committee as if they are students. I ...

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Effective ways of encouraging "weak" students to make use of office hours
15 votes

Sometimes students are intimidated at the idea of going to a teacher during office hours. I think we have all been "cross-examined" during such an experience even though we know it was beneficial. ...

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How should I deal with students copying down the problem incorrectly?
13 votes

My solution is rather boring and simple. What if, after writing the problems on the board, you read the problems outloud with and or to the students. Hearing the problems will reduce many mistakes due ...

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Why doesn't academia incorporate spaced repetition in higher education?
13 votes

Spaced repetition is indirectly present in higher ed. We have all heard the humorous phrase that an ms is "more of the same" and a PhD is "pile higher and deeper". This implies that there is indeed ...

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Can PhDs legitimately claim to be doctors?
11 votes

One of the original meanings for the word "doctor" is teacher or scholar. It literally is derived from the Latin verb docēre which means to teach. As such, a medical doctor is literally a teacher or ...

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How to reward students for learning from mistakes without penalizing those who didn't make mistakes in the first place?
10 votes

The confusion i see with this is that different groups are going to have different problems. This makes comparisonsense of responses difficult because of the variety in the responses. This is in ...

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I think my professor misunderstood something I said and may have taken offense; what should I do?
10 votes

I think the best course of action is to explain what happened and apologize to the instructor. After that it is up to her if she is willing to accept your explanation and apology. Natural you should ...

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Is it plagiarism when copying something that you have written before?
10 votes

Yes, it is called self-plagiarism. This happens when you reuse significant portions of an earlier work without acknowledging this. This can be a major concern if the prior work is copyrighted as it ...

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Is it unreasonable to expect students to read the lecture notes before attending the first class?
9 votes

This is actually a form of blended learning called the flipped classroom. This approach involves studying the material before classes and using the class period for activities and assignments to ...

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Should a programming Instructor urge students to use more efficient practices?
9 votes

I'm not a coder but I am familiar with learning something for the first time. As a teacher, you have reached a level of mastery that allows you to do things automatically. As such, you are able to ...

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Designing a credit-by-examination exam
8 votes

There is a lot missing information here that makes it difficult to provide an fully informed response. For example, the subject, whether this is a theoretical or application class, the way it is ...

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How does one teach problem solving?
7 votes

In addition to content knowledge students need exposure to a process for problem solving such as the following. Define the problem-it's amazing how often students cannot articulate what the issue is. ...

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Why don't high-ranking journals go solo?
6 votes

Typesetting, running a website, and many of your other suggestions take time and organizational skills that many academics do not want to invest in. If you outsource all of this to a publisher it ...

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Is there an efficient way to give a large class of students feedback about their assignments?
6 votes

If the class has 700 students there should be a lot of students who are making the same mistakes. Therefore, I do not see much benefit in personalized feedback due to the impracticality of the context....

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Is it ethical to "arm-twist" a faculty-member into passing more students or improving the class average?
6 votes

Grading is really based on the philosophy of the people involved. Therefore, it is difficult to say what is right or wrong. Many teachers hold to some form of absolute grading. Absolute grading is a ...

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How can I balance the reading requirements for a large survey course?
Accepted answer
6 votes

Survey courses are generally designed to be superficial. The music department offers music appreciation. The fine arts department offers art appreciation. These courses expose you to the major themes ...

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How was funding handled in the medieval university?
6 votes

A lot of research during the Middle Ages was funded through the patronage system. Scientist and other scholars would receive financial support from aristocratic families, royalty, and even from clergy....

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Difference between bursary, scholarship and fellowship
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6 votes

These three terms essentially mean the same thing. Bursary is the term for scholarship used in the UK. Normally, a bursary is given based on need which is not always the case with fellowships/...

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Are non-Western University PhD's really frowned upon?
Accepted answer
5 votes

All degrees have value somewhere. What you need to think about is where you want to work when you complete your studies. Obviously if your goal is to work in Asia or particularly in Hong Kong there ...

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Letting students grade their own homework
5 votes

Instead of having the students grade their own paper why not have them grade their peer's paper. Peer editing will hopefully reduce the risk of students giving themselves an "A". In addition, peer ...

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How much of an onus is on the teacher in an undergraduate course?
5 votes

I do not think you can solve this problem alone. As such I would suggest collaborating with the teachers who teach the prerequisites to your courses. Knowing what is happening in colleagues classes ...

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What is the difference between a Teaching Philosophy and a Teaching Statement?
Accepted answer
5 votes

One of the confusing aspects of the various fields of academics is that within one field there can be many terms that essentially mean the same thing. People may try to state that there is a ...

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Student essay feedback for a large class
4 votes

When grading assignments for large classes it is common for large groups of students to make the same mistakes. Therefore during the next class period you can give some general feedback to the whole ...

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Do language skills impair students' ability to assess their skill in other subjects?
Accepted answer
4 votes

I've taught esl for international students trying to get into graduate school. One thing that I noticed is that the students did not know there is a difference between conversational English and ...

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What to teach first: theory or practice?
4 votes

It isn't really a question of either or in terms of theory and practice. Instead, what is needed is theory and practice happening simultaneously in the classroom. The students learn a concept and then ...

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The GRE vocabulary is infrequent to meet in academic life. What is the purpose of learning them?
4 votes

The vocab in the GRE is a measurement of verbal reasoning. The GRE never makes any claims of being practical. It strictly wants to know how well you can do on a general test that measurements several ...

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Will a masters degree from Japan be seen as less valuable?
Accepted answer
4 votes

I think your decision should be based on future aspirations. Specifically, you need to decide if you are heading into industry or academia when you complete your studies. If you are going into ...

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