Friday, April 29, 2011

Why Did I Look?

And more importantly, why do I care?  For no good reason other than the fact that one of my colleagues just posted a student complaint from Rate My Professors, I decided to look to see if anything had changed in mine.  It hadn't, for quite a while because nothing had really changed there(other than chili pepper removal, which with the amount of hair I've lost and all the bloating from my binge drinking, I heartily agree with).  I thought the site was basically dead.  Guess I was wrong.

Dr. Zeke is a nice guy.  But he doesn't lecture.  Group activities don't work for the class.  When you ask him questions, he just stares at you blankly.
I want you to know that this is not a direct quote.  I read and summarized the general sense of it, so I'm not plagiarizing.  So why did this bother me?  I'll tell you.  I DO use small group learning in class.  I don't lecture (much).  When I do lecture, it is about something important, and it's probably something that you as a student should pay attention to (and it's probably in response to the reasonable questions students have asked me about the activity we've been working on).

Students do learn this way.  At least the ones who put in time outside of class.  I know who you are you see.  You think that all you have to do is go to class and have your head filled by the professor. Excuse me.  Teacher.  That's what you usually call me.  When you come to class.

I'm sure that you really believe that coming to class 60% of the time, and turning in 60% of the homework should secure you B+, if not an A.  Above all, you really shouldn't have to think, should you?  Like, analyze data to come to a conclusion about something you're supposed to learn.  You're the one who asks "How was I supposed to know to do that?".  Well, before you came to class you weren't.  Now you do.  It's called learning.

Oh, and this does work for most of the class.  They might not all be getting A's, but in the last five years (since I stopped lecturing and started using group activities), fewer students have failed the course.  I'd show you the data, but then you'd have to think about it.

You're going to be an awesome MD.  For sure.

(I feel better now.  I'm going to go turn on some Sabbath and start grading exams.  Then go have some beer.)


  1. Zeke--I grade to Sabbath, too, and sometimes Zepplin and once in a while The James Gang.

    And I do hope your idiots are stopped long before they can do their "good doctoring" all up in my area.

  2. "I want you to know that this is not a direct quote. I read and summarized the general sense of it, so I'm not plagiarizing."

    Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or ideas as your own. Quoting someone else's words to support your argument, or for the purposes of analysis or criticism, is NOT plagiarism.

  3. ZZ, may the horror of the exams wipe out the trauma of looking. I take my lesson from Pandora on this one: I don't even look. To look is to stare into the face of ignorance. I have enough of that on a daily basis.

  4. Please don't take anything that Rate My Professors cites seriously. That way lies madness.

  5. I wonder what would happen if some of the students "accidently" got posted on RMP as faculty members.

    Honestly, I avoid that place like the plague because it damages my subroutines.

    Don't even bother with any more justification with them. It's a waste of classtime and they probably talk over you when you make an attempt to explain why you picked this teaching style and then they think that they are right because they stole the floor from you. Those that are complaining will just have to accept that they signed up for the class and this is what they get. I wrote a complaint policy into my syllabus one semester.

    I taught Geometry one semester at Lead Poisoning CC only because the Deanflake said I had to (the other Geometry professors got to do as they pleased). What a nightmare! I had to really lay the smack-down with them when they wanted to use classtime to complain about how things are done. At one point, I had to threaten to kick people out for being disruptive and eventually gave them a polite version of "If you don't like it, then go take someone else's class."

  6. "I want you to know that this is not a direct quote. I read and summarized the general sense of it, so I'm not plagiarizing."

    Defunct is indeed right. You cited your source so, either way, it would not have been plagiarism. However,"summarizing" for the "general sense" of something without using citation IS plagiarizing. Ideas as well as direct quotations can be plagiarized. "Putting it in your own words" is still plagiarizing.

  7. Reading my course evals consistently gives me migraines, even if they are good. That and meetings with my dissertation advisor. Thank heavens for Toradol and a doctor who is willing to let me jam my own needles into my thigh.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.