Author Topic: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?  (Read 2748 times)

hamburger

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2019, 12:32:35 PM »
It isn't unusual for students to want to understand their grades.  But you can tell them when you are available to meet, which should be when the new semester starts or when you plan to be in your office before then.   If the course grade is based on a number of assignments, then using the online grading system with Canvas, Blackboard, etc. can help them understand their grades.

A foreign student demanded to see the sample solutions used to mark the paper. He then compared his answers with the sample solutions WORD BY WORD. I am not kidding. He checked WORD BY WORD, SYMBOL BY SYMBOL. This guy questioned me and the senior colleague as if we were criminals. He act like an interrogator himself. The meeting took about 1.5 hours. I have never met any student like him.  His friend also demanded to see the paper and complained about being treated unfairly. I was also told to prepare new exam paper for a student who decided not to show up in the final exam and got approved to take it in the Fall semester.

It was my day off but I spent my entire day to deal with these three students. They did not study hard nor had the ability to get the kind of top scores they wanted. It was not my fault.

Meanwhile, for this semester, a new student sent me an email saying that he would be late for school for three weeks. The other wrote to me that he would try to go to school earlier but he was not sure when. Another one sent me a doctor's note about sickness. They asked me to report to them what they are going to miss and give them exceptions on late assignments, missed tests, etc.

Besides teaching and prepare for new courses that I am assigned to teach, all my time and energy are being used on these students, to do things for their convenience.

Do professors in top schools also have to deal with these things these days?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 01:20:30 PM by hamburger »

Scout

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2019, 01:09:13 PM »
It isn't unusual for students to want to understand their grades.  But you can tell them when you are available to meet, which should be when the new semester starts or when you plan to be in your office before then.   If the course grade is based on a number of assignments, then using the online grading system with Canvas, Blackboard, etc. can help them understand their grades.


A foreign student demanded to see the sample solutions used to mark the paper. He then compared his answers with the sample solutions WORD BY WORD. I am not kidding. WORD BY WORD, SYMBOL BY SYMBOL. This guy questioned me and the senior colleague as if we were criminals. He act like an interrogator himself. The meeting took about 1.5 hours. I have never met any student like him.



As we've said before, this is less a student problem as a institutional problem. All students will push boundaries- that your institution allows this to happen is the problem.

So, you can't change what is not in your control. What can you change?
Once upon a time I dreamt I was named yeastie.

hamburger

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2019, 01:21:21 PM »
It isn't unusual for students to want to understand their grades.  But you can tell them when you are available to meet, which should be when the new semester starts or when you plan to be in your office before then.   If the course grade is based on a number of assignments, then using the online grading system with Canvas, Blackboard, etc. can help them understand their grades.


A foreign student demanded to see the sample solutions used to mark the paper. He then compared his answers with the sample solutions WORD BY WORD. I am not kidding. WORD BY WORD, SYMBOL BY SYMBOL. This guy questioned me and the senior colleague as if we were criminals. He act like an interrogator himself. The meeting took about 1.5 hours. I have never met any student like him.



As we've said before, this is less a student problem as a institutional problem. All students will push boundaries- that your institution allows this to happen is the problem.

So, you can't change what is not in your control. What can you change?

My perception. I always keep in mind that i get to teach the students I got rather than the kind of students I want.

downer

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2019, 02:42:30 PM »

My perception. I always keep in mind that i get to teach the students I got rather than the kind of students I want.

That's a start. Your strong reactions suggest that you haven't completely taken this on board, but it is a process.

BTW, students can be annoying wherever you are, or delightful too. Some of my favorite students are at the community college.

Another thing you can change: your job.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

eigen

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2019, 01:07:58 PM »
It isn't unusual for students to want to understand their grades.  But you can tell them when you are available to meet, which should be when the new semester starts or when you plan to be in your office before then.   If the course grade is based on a number of assignments, then using the online grading system with Canvas, Blackboard, etc. can help them understand their grades.

A foreign student demanded to see the sample solutions used to mark the paper. He then compared his answers with the sample solutions WORD BY WORD. I am not kidding. He checked WORD BY WORD, SYMBOL BY SYMBOL. This guy questioned me and the senior colleague as if we were criminals. He act like an interrogator himself. The meeting took about 1.5 hours. I have never met any student like him.  His friend also demanded to see the paper and complained about being treated unfairly. I was also told to prepare new exam paper for a student who decided not to show up in the final exam and got approved to take it in the Fall semester.

For what it's worth, I'd consider this something a student has a right to: a detailed and thorough rubric against which to compare their work. You can save yourself quite a bit of work if you just provide it for them to look over- I post all of my solutions with explanation and point rubric to our course management system, and encourage students to closely check their work and my grading. After all, professors are human and make mistakes.

It would cut down on the *time* the issue took you if they were able to do the comparison on their own time, and only come to you with specific (possibly even written) issues for you to discuss with them.

And don't do it when you're on break.

I feel like you're mixing issues that are serious, issues that are frustrating but we all have to deal with, and things that are non-issues.

hamburger

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #50 on: September 09, 2019, 02:21:40 PM »
It isn't unusual for students to want to understand their grades.  But you can tell them when you are available to meet, which should be when the new semester starts or when you plan to be in your office before then.   If the course grade is based on a number of assignments, then using the online grading system with Canvas, Blackboard, etc. can help them understand their grades.

A foreign student demanded to see the sample solutions used to mark the paper. He then compared his answers with the sample solutions WORD BY WORD. I am not kidding. He checked WORD BY WORD, SYMBOL BY SYMBOL. This guy questioned me and the senior colleague as if we were criminals. He act like an interrogator himself. The meeting took about 1.5 hours. I have never met any student like him.  His friend also demanded to see the paper and complained about being treated unfairly. I was also told to prepare new exam paper for a student who decided not to show up in the final exam and got approved to take it in the Fall semester.

For what it's worth, I'd consider this something a student has a right to: a detailed and thorough rubric against which to compare their work. You can save yourself quite a bit of work if you just provide it for them to look over- I post all of my solutions with explanation and point rubric to our course management system, and encourage students to closely check their work and my grading. After all, professors are human and make mistakes.

It would cut down on the *time* the issue took you if they were able to do the comparison on their own time, and only come to you with specific (possibly even written) issues for you to discuss with them.

And don't do it when you're on break.

I feel like you're mixing issues that are serious, issues that are frustrating but we all have to deal with, and things that are non-issues.


I provided the rubric but he disagreed with the rubric as well. He disagreed with almost all the markings I made. For example, in one question, I deducted 4 marks. He complained that that was too much. He also put his paper close to my face and my senior colleague's face. Completely inappropriate. Yet, I could not scream at him nor kick him out of the room. He and his friend also pulled the trick that they are foreign students and they were being treated unfairly as newcomers. They talked about human rights, student rights, etc. In my CC, usually we don't have a rubric. We also don't have a sample solutions that profs from different sections use to mark the papers. I made my own rubric.

downer

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2019, 04:19:06 PM »

I provided the rubric but he disagreed with the rubric as well. He disagreed with almost all the markings I made. For example, in one question, I deducted 4 marks. He complained that that was too much. He also put his paper close to my face and my senior colleague's face. Completely inappropriate. Yet, I could not scream at him nor kick him out of the room. He and his friend also pulled the trick that they are foreign students and they were being treated unfairly as newcomers. They talked about human rights, student rights, etc. In my CC, usually we don't have a rubric. We also don't have a sample solutions that profs from different sections use to mark the papers. I made my own rubric.

This is entirely bizarre.

It is true you can't kick a student out of a room. Not literally. You can say that their behavior is inappropriate and if they continue, the meeting is over, and if they continue, you leave.

It sounds like you are not in a supportive environment, and so obviously your main goal is to get out of there to somewhere better.

I would recommend doing whatever it takes to get a better job.

The phrase learned helplessness is coming to my mind. It sounds like you and your colleagues don't know how to assert authority. If that is the case, you might as well just let the students decide their grades.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

hamburger

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2019, 08:47:20 PM »

I provided the rubric but he disagreed with the rubric as well. He disagreed with almost all the markings I made. For example, in one question, I deducted 4 marks. He complained that that was too much. He also put his paper close to my face and my senior colleague's face. Completely inappropriate. Yet, I could not scream at him nor kick him out of the room. He and his friend also pulled the trick that they are foreign students and they were being treated unfairly as newcomers. They talked about human rights, student rights, etc. In my CC, usually we don't have a rubric. We also don't have a sample solutions that profs from different sections use to mark the papers. I made my own rubric.

This is entirely bizarre.

It is true you can't kick a student out of a room. Not literally. You can say that their behavior is inappropriate and if they continue, the meeting is over, and if they continue, you leave.

It sounds like you are not in a supportive environment, and so obviously your main goal is to get out of there to somewhere better.

I would recommend doing whatever it takes to get a better job.

The phrase learned helplessness is coming to my mind. It sounds like you and your colleagues don't know how to assert authority. If that is the case, you might as well just let the students decide their grades.

I have taught for many years. Never met any student like that.

Before I met this guy, I met his friend (from the same country) with a senior professor. She also played the trick of crying and claimed that she was being treated unfairly in a foreign country. Their country is famous for w**. I guess they just treated me as their enemy rather than as a professor. At several points, she showed evil smiles. I defended for myself a few times but each time my senior colleague asked me to stop. After that meeting, I asked him why he told me to stop responding to her. He just told me that there was no need to "argue with the student". When dealing with this guy, the senior professor left the room several times. Probably he was taking a break from this guy. When he was there, he just opened his mouth and starred at this guy while he was comparing the sample answers with his answers word by word. He did not rush him at all. Just observed his behavior. I don't know what happened to this guy because I left a bit earlier to handle another mess caused by a 3rd student. That senior colleague did not tell me what happened while I was away.

In the first week of school, four students already asked me for special treatments saying that they cannot attend for various reasons. One never addresses me by name. He wrote in a way as if I were his servant.

Professors' time and energy should be spent on teaching those who want to learn rather than serving those who want to get high marks by complaining rather than studying hard.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 08:58:51 PM by hamburger »

polly_mer

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2019, 04:24:12 AM »
The phrase learned helplessness is coming to my mind. It sounds like you and your colleagues don't know how to assert authority. If that is the case, you might as well just let the students decide their grades.

I have taught for many years. Never met any student like that.

From your own posts here, you've met several students like that (indeed, whole sections at your current institution have many of these students).  You, Hamburger, are exhibiting "learned helplessness" yourself by sharing a new story about the students every time instead of getting a different job or implementing any of the advice given to protect your energy and time by focusing on the things you can change.
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kaysixteen

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2019, 09:54:58 PM »
Getting a new job ain't that simple.  We don't know what the OP's field is, but it probably ain't engineering or some such thing with real alternative non academic options for PhDs.

eigen

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2019, 10:38:31 PM »
Getting a new job ain't that simple.  We don't know what the OP's field is, but it probably ain't engineering or some such thing with real alternative non academic options for PhDs.

Actually, best I can follow from their posts they are in either electrical engineering or computer science, or at least one of the physical sciences.

Since most of their discussions are about labs and programming.

polly_mer

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2019, 04:46:13 AM »
Getting a new job ain't that simple.  We don't know what the OP's field is, but it probably ain't engineering or some such thing with real alternative non academic options for PhDs.

Even if getting a new job isn't simple, this particular job is a terrible match for the OP.  A minimum wage job climbing some other ladder is probably going to work out better than continuing to be frustrated with this job and working a lot when technically off the clock.
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Aster

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #57 on: September 11, 2019, 09:47:45 AM »
If you work in professional education long enough, odds are good that you are going to encounter anomalous student outliers with insane behavioral issues. One of my colleagues had a chair thrown at her in her office once by an angry student. That student was off-the-farm nuts. He got himself barred from the campus for his actions. But the instance was so very rare that no one at that college could recollect a similar situation ever arising.

So, one or two nutty students should not be cause for leaving the profession, or anyone advising you to leave the profession, any more than someone closing down a restaurant because they had a 3-day E. coli scare from bad lettuce. Sometimes, bad junk happens that is just really unusual and rare.

If you work at an institutional type that tends to attract higher percentages of badly behaving students (e.g. open enrollment places, super-entitled SLACs), there will normally be guidance in your faculty handbook, a pool of senior faculty to turn to, and extra staff resources (e.g. counselors, security) available. For example, I have a big red security button at my institution that every professor is encouraged to mash down if ever anyone gets out of control.  We'll have security/police in that room in minutes. Any verbal, nonverbal, written or electronic harassment directed to a professor is not tolerated and there are clear procedures for having harassing students sanctioned or barred from campus. We have a lot of female professors and a lot of non-native students hailing from countries who view women as inferior creatures. Sexist bullying and sexist harassment is not at all unusual for these unfortunate professors. If you have a lot of student who are harassing you, and your institution is not providing helpful resources, and/or your colleagues are unavailable or unwilling to help, then I would say that your institution is not a healthy place to work at.

rhetoricae

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Re: Is this common in universities and community colleges in North America?
« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2019, 10:20:51 AM »
In the first week of school, four students already asked me for special treatments saying that they cannot attend for various reasons. One never addresses me by name. He wrote in a way as if I were his servant.

Yes, but you are not required to grant them special treatment. You actually can say, "I'm sorry but the attendance policy is X, and I have to apply it fairly to everyone."  I can already hear you gearing up to type that if you actually do that, students will complain about you. Let them complain. You can give the same explanation to an administrator, and include, "If you would like for me to handle this differently, please tell me how to proceed."

In a previous post:
Meanwhile, for this semester, a new student sent me an email saying that he would be late for school for three weeks. The other wrote to me that he would try to go to school earlier but he was not sure when. Another one sent me a doctor's note about sickness. They asked me to report to them what they are going to miss and give them exceptions on late assignments, missed tests, etc.

Again - you can let go of this as a problem as well. Adhere to the written attendance policy, and tell them that to catch up they will have to {read the textbook/access materials on the LMS/ask a friend for notes}. Whatever works. Then go about your business because their learning is their responsibility, and this is college.

Besides teaching and prepare for new courses that I am assigned to teach, all my time and energy are being used on these students, to do things for their convenience.

Perhaps so, but you don't actually have to spend all your time and energy catering to their convenience. Give them the tools, point them to the policy and go. 

(For what it's worth, I teach gen ed courses at a rural CC which sees many under-prepared students.)