a journal of a researcher

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A note at the end of the first term

I finished the first term as a faculty in university. Here is a note about my work:

1. There is strong correlation between a professor’s marking to his/her popularity. I found a lot of students care about only the marks, not the knowledge or the skills they will rely on in their future jobs. “Strong correlation” means it is the major factor in students’ evaluation about the prof. So, it should be discussed how to use the students’ evaluation in evaluating the professors.

2. Any mistakes will be amplified among your students. For example, a typo will be reported multiple times. This is like I make multiple typos. Then I feel my assignments or exams are full of typos. I cannot stay undisturbed. For the final exam, I carefully read and tried the exam before I gave it for print. Finally no more typos were reported for the final exam. Think, if I make a mistake in my lecture, each mistake will be repeated by many students. I think I did not make easy mistakes, i.e. stupid, basic mistakes.

3. Be aware that you have all kinds of students. I find a certain kind of students, normally they are from certain countries, like to ask extra things, from extension to more marks. I heard many times “I want to get maximum I deserve”. But most cases, they ask for extra benefits without willing to put extra efforts. I normally point out to them that they need to “win” the privilege of deadline extension or reducing of the penalty. Hopefully they understand this.

4. Tightening the rules is much better than losing them. You should make the rules very clear at the beginning of the term. Changing the rules in the middle of the term will raise a lot of complaints. Also think carefully the rules you set up. If not properly set, the rules can be biased.


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