• May 2, 2016

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May 02, 2016, 2:04:40 am *
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News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
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 on: Today at 01:47:24 am 
Started by wet_blanket - Last post by powderfinger
Its a great idea but I think this is really just a humblebrag in execution.  Either he is leaving off a lot of rejections, particularly in the earlier stages of his career, or he has been phenomenally successful (especially in terms of acceptance at top journals).

 on: Today at 01:40:23 am 
Started by rowan1 - Last post by proftowanda
For the final exam I gave my student a list of the concepts we covered throughout the semester (how this is helpful I have no idea, but they liked it).  One of my students just emailed me asking if I could help him locate some of the concepts in the textbook, and provided a list of concepts.  Now, these are not tiny tidbits.  These are concepts that range from several pages to near full chapters in the book.

If only there was a list at the back of the book where you could search for these concepts and find out where they are located in the book.

I guess that we go wrong when we don't assign endmatter as required reading?  But my students are such consumerists that, when I point out that they paid for those pages -- indices, appendices, etc. -- they are more likely to use them.   And some, of course, are stunned by how useful can be those pages.

I do recall a student who was resentful, though, acting as if this was a secret that we, the academic cabal, had withheld from him.

 on: Today at 01:35:47 am 
Started by neutralname - Last post by quasihumanist
Frankly, I'm more concerned about so few A's -- about the students who are making an effort and not quite making it to A work, far fewer than I used to see in the same course (with the same, campus-determined expectations, etc.).  I worry that they are being dragged down by the too-dominant coterie in their classes.  I have seen the impact on honors students, complaining about the others, so I have had to take them aside to explain that this is not an honors class, that they need to challenge themselves, etc.  But I have seen that the result can be that they dumb it down for themselves (and take revenge on evals). 

What I've done to combat this is to explicitly institute a two-colored grading system.  You get Chartreuse points for doing the kinds of things anyone who comes to class, does a reasonable amount of homework, and studies a bit can do.  There are more challenging assignments and projects and special extra-difficult exams that give Acquamarine points.  To get a C in the class, you need a good percentage of Chartreuse points and a few token Acquamarine points.  To get an A in the class, you need a larger percentage of Chartreuse points and a significant number of Acquamarine points.  Students sort themselves by their willingness (and, sadly, in many cases, their ability) to do things that earn Acquamarine points.  The system makes it clear that, unlike in most classes around here, one cannot get an A by doing easy things more consistently than the slackers.

The truth is that I could easily arrange a grading system that gives almost the same grades to everyone without this two-colored business - but the psychology of it mostly works both for me and for the students.

 on: Today at 01:26:48 am 
Started by bradley_headstone - Last post by dr_starbucks
If it really does not make a difference then perhaps consider giving  her the benefit of the doubt and give her the points to make her go away.   It's not an argument worth fighting over. 

If she wasn't there, she probably would not be arguing this point. It is not going to affect her grade after all. Yes, she should have signed the sheet. Yes, you do not have proof that she was there. Yes, she may be confused. I still suggest that you give her the points and move on with your life. You're having a tug of war with this student over an issue that ultimately doesn't matter. Since her final grade is not going to change one way or the other, it seems to be more about the tug of war than anything else.

Or, this is what I do:  "I will put this on your record, and if you _________ (attend every class, do every assignment, etc.), and it will make a difference in the final grade, I will count it then."  I like to not have such a tussle discourage a student -- although that matters more earlier in the semester -- and provide an incentive . . . because, yes, such stuff rarely matters in the final grade.  But discouraging a student who feels treated "unfairly" can do so, although again, more often earlier in the semester. 

This is a good "Jedi Mind Trick" strategy if there are remaining class sessions and assignments.

 on: Today at 01:21:05 am 
Started by annmarie - Last post by mamselle
Posting on the CHE Forums.

(/ducks for cover)

Me, too.


 on: Today at 01:17:07 am 
Started by sanguinity - Last post by mamselle
"Campus print center"? That's me in front of a copier.

I am an English prof and find that the formatting of poems (for instance) goes straight to hell on many devices. What happens to complex equations?

After you set the poem up in Word or something similar, turn it into a .pdf file.

That will preserve the formatting; all you have to do is either download something like Primo, then set the MSW file to "print" as a .pdf file.

I haven't had occasion to do formatted equations in awhile, but it should work for those as well, it seems to me. Someone else in the mathy world might want to weigh in on that, though...


 on: Today at 01:04:03 am 
Started by bbqb6591 - Last post by bbqb6591
A student even told me that she wants to implement my work as her thesis and asked me how to do it!

Presumably your paper would be published long before her thesis was completed. So what's the problem?

It was just an example of reviewer leaking paper when he was supposed to keep it confidential during review.

Wasn't the reviewer supposed to decline reviewing my paper due to conflict of interests?

 on: Today at 12:59:20 am 
Started by mathminion - Last post by betterslac
A set of boxwood leadworking tools.

A bathtub.

Is the bathtub used for making gin?

Or beer?


 on: Today at 12:44:38 am 
Started by voxprincipalis - Last post by usukprof
I suppose it it pointless to say that your n=1 experience, while valid, isn't universal.  Or even necessarily representative.

Just keep flogging that quagga.

We've got posters here that comment on things for which they've got n=0 experience.

 on: Today at 12:18:02 am 
Started by vierien - Last post by larryc
Has anybody here tried to grade 160 composition essays X 3 times over the semester? At what point does death strike you?

Not composition, but for a decade I graded 3 5-page essays every semester for 120-160 students. (I did not have to assign them, but I figure teaching writing is everyone's job.)

Honestly, it was not that bad if you do it intelligently. I started a thread that you might find useful: http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,139589.msg2733421.html#msg2733421

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