• May 1, 2016

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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 11:37:56 am 
Started by neutralname - Last post by arpodah
   I'm in a new institution now.  I have a young earnest and dedicated student whose grade is so low that even a F is too high to assign to her.  I tried to get her to withdraw at midterm, but she refused to do so.  So along with the other bad grades I will give to no-show and non-performing students, I am likely to be assigning an earned F to this student.  I will feel bad, but not guilty.  In a future semester, maybe a different professor with a different pedagogical style will work better for her.  I hope so. 

At my institution we distinguish between the earned F, which allows them to remain eligible for financial aid, etc and the "FW" which means they didn't come to class or do the work after the official withdrawal date (W), which caused them to fail.  The FW is treated like a W for unit counts, financial aid, etc.

Can you do something like that?

   My current institution does have an alternative fail-designation for students who never showed up or failed because they stopped coming to class and had many missing grades.  For the latter, the instructors are expected to indicate in the electronic grade record the date of last attendance with the "no-show fail" marking, and leave the Registrar and Financial Aid office to figure out what to do with such students.  However, I can give no alternative marking to the underperforming student I just described; I have to assign a regular grade, which is likely to be "F" since a respectable "D" seems out of reach.  [A miraculous 100% on the cumulative final exam might make a D-grade possible.]

   I am currently only a part-time faculty member and have no advisement responsibilities.  I instructed the student to speak with her advisor at midterm, but I have no idea about who her advisor is, whether or not the student actually spoke with her advisor, or how the student was advised if she did see her advisor.  I am teaching a high-enrollment, high-stakes biology course which creates, in my opinion, an excessively competitive burden for the students.  It's making them a little crazy with stress and provokes them to make what I feel are sacrificial academic decisions.  No part of my time as an undergraduate or graduate student was as stressfully competitive as what I have been observing in my students over the past academic year.

 on: Today at 11:30:19 am 
Started by bradley_headstone - Last post by ergative
I have a student in my lecture class, where I assign participation credit through clicker points, who (a) acknowledges that she missed three classes, (b) says that she knows that clicker credit depends in part on getting the right answer, and is still "confused" about why she has a B in participation, because she was hoping participation would help her grade, but it ended up not doing that. I don't see what there is to be confused about. She answered her own question before she even asked it.

 on: Today at 11:30:10 am 
Started by neutralname - Last post by polly_mer
In any case, I've never had anything close to 40% Fs in a class, as you describe. If it came to that, I'd seriously rethink my pedagogy. I'm not saying you should lower your standards. But I'm curious whether you could change something in a way that might help increase intrinsic motivation in your students.

Increasing intrinsic motivation can only go so far when the problem is students who don't actually have the prerequisites, regardless of what their transcripts state.

For example, those intro science classes that require people to actually be able to do algebra I and students actually cannot do arithmetic best 2 of 3 even with a calculator are just painful all around.

I can modify my pedagogy all I like, but if they cannot do the math and flat out refuse to learn how to do the math, then the grade will be F.

 on: Today at 11:28:56 am 
Started by prytania3 - Last post by pareadocs
Good morning!  I really need to study for my stats final today.

Reply to emails about papers - in progress
Figure out what to do about that student...
Email retake students
Post announcement

Read all the rest of the chapters and articles for stats
Try to figure out WTF is going on in stats
Tweak conference talk (maybe time practice talk without actually speaking?)
Work on amendment to other IRB protocol?
MFP, Dailies

 on: Today at 11:25:46 am 
Started by mickeymantle - Last post by jerseyjay
I think this is, like everything else, absolutely field specific.

I am in history. It usually takes between six and eighteen months to get a decision from a journal. I have never had one give me a deadline for resubmitting a revised ms. Sometimes the revisions require significant research--like, going back to primary sources--that cannot be done in two weeks.

For one article, I got a R&R from a pretty prestigious journal, but I put off doing the revisions because they required using primary sources I did not have immediate access to and because I thought it more important to work on my book m.s. At some point, my book research took me to Washington, D.C., to use the Library of Congress, and in my spare time I was able to consult the primary sources and I resubmitted the revised m.s. about a year after getting the R&R. It was accepted within a week.

I can imagine that for fields that have a norm of quicker turn arounds for reviews, a quicker turn around for revisions would be a expected.

 on: Today at 11:15:34 am 
Started by atalanta - Last post by ergative
Yeah you'll correct his erroneous citations?  Isn't the temptation for him to make a half-hearted attempt at two or three and cry "I don't understand" and get you to correct the rest?  It's important not to behave as if he is entitled.

"Hi, Stu,

For citations 1, 5, and 7, remember that you must include the year of publication, and that the title of the article is not in italics, while the title of the journal is [or whatever]. The rest of your references consist only of a URL, which is not a citation, so I can't correct any errors. Please refer to [class reference] to format the rest of your citations, and remember that they must be properly formatted in order to receive credit for the assignment.

Good night. I look forward to seeing the rest of your work in the morning."

This seems like helpfully unhelpful way to give guidance if it's truly needed, without actually doing the student's work for him. If you're planning to be up until 10 anyway, it only takes five minutes to cast a quick glance over the document and send a quick email.

 on: Today at 10:58:39 am 
Started by _touchedbyanoodle_ - Last post by tenured_feminist
Wow, Vhagar, great job! I honestly don't think I could complete even a half in heavy rain. I'd get too chilled to continue.

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone. I'm signed up for my second half ever this coming fall. Going to try to get through a 15 K next weekend. Those new shoes I bought because they were both cheap and on sale now belong to my daughter and I'll go shoe shopping again later this week for something that won't irritate my extensor tendons, ugh.

 on: Today at 10:48:55 am 
Started by _touchedbyanoodle_ - Last post by canyonwren3
Brutal, vhagar - and PoC is right - pat yourself on the back for getting through it.  You are tough - you finished.
A marathon is not a trivial distance to hold it together, and the weather certainly didn't help with faking your way through.

Good idea to have the half on the books.

 on: Today at 10:41:09 am 
Started by tithonos - Last post by polly_mer
Fortunately, compliance is mostly a matter of measuring learning outcomes (in whatever form they may take--and that is another can of worms I do not want to open), not time inputs (in whatever form they may take). But I think you know that, already.  Otherwise, online education goes down the toilet.

I have three words for you: Adams State University (http://chronicle.texterity.com/chronicle/20160318a?pg=27#pg27).  The short version goes that Adams State passed their 10-year reaffirmation with HLC and then were investigated within a few months for running a dramatically inadequate online program after being told for years to get it together.  The net result is going on probation with HLC less than a year after reaffirmation.

While it's true that direct instruction time is not the measure for online programs, accreditors do indeed check:

1) if enough direct instruction is available in some form so that students could avail themselves of the materials if desired
2) if enough assignments, etc. are available that students could learn the material if they tried
3) if the faculty are interacting with the students sufficiently to justify the label of distance education instead of correspondence education.  Merely telling students to read the materials and take some quizzes does not constitute distance education.  Another three words for you are: George Washington University (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/04/15/george-washington-u-alumni-sue-university-over-quality-online-program)

In short, accreditors are indeed cracking down on online education for not having enough direct instruction.  If you want to run a correspondence school, then that's a different set of standards.  

If you want to go purely to outcomes-based education, then that is also a different set of standards to be met.  You really really don't want to go down that road unless you are truly all in, which also means that meeting with a student once a week for half an hour is unlikely to clear the absolute minimum expected.

 on: Today at 10:34:34 am 
Started by sweatshirt - Last post by quietly
I am a single parent--I think it is easier to be a single parent than it is to be parenting with someone inconsistent and unreliable. I suggest that you change your perspective and don't depend on spouse right now. That way you know it's on you and you aren't consistently being letdown or put into a bind.

You need consistent, reliable child care. That's where I would suggest putting your money now. I had my daughter at a year-round center just to keep her routine consistent.  Good child care is expensive. But, it is worth it. Don't try to piece child care together right now.  Really look at your options there.

Next, your child is two? Don't worry yet about kindergarten. You might be able to do kindergarten at the same preschool. Your neighborhood school might be just fine. You have time to figure this out. Of my friends, not any of us kept our children in the same school all through elementary. So--do what is best at the time and then make changes as necessary later on.

Try to take a moment or two for yourself.  You sound tired and a bit overwhelmed. You can totally do this.


I second all of this. A solid 9-5 childcare provider will make everything a thousand times better. Worth every penny. I pay for it with summer teaching.  Don't think ahead too far. Just get through this year. You don't even know your kid yet, much less what primary school options might work best.

Also, a bad nearby daycare is easy to reject. But I would have thrown out home-based or church daycares as well, had I not talked to friends and did some research.  A little church daycare run by the pastor's wife turned out to be AMAZING, and with no religious content. And my sister's 2yo is in a likewise incredible home based care situation.


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