Thursday, December 8, 2016

yeah...real student email from this week

Often noted
as the worst ever
CM graphic. Thx!
"I just reviewed the feedback/ criticism from my long draft report. But hey, try giving out some positive remarks with all of the negative you like to give. Also, I did complete the [hamster hairdressing] research, I didn't submit it. Thanks again for your criticism!"

The author is not a 20-year old snowflake.

The author already works in a profession with very serious consequences when not well practiced well.

But, I'm relieved to know that this student completed the assignment that s/he did not turn in.

"All of the negative that you like to give." Oh my. If I were a songwriter...I'd a write song with this as the hook.

- Miserable Adjunct

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Yuri in Youngstown on Academic Cheating.

When I first became a Dean, I had no idea that a large part of every week would be spent on academic cheating cases. It was endless. It was discouraging. It changed the way I look at students forever.

In reviewing the past couple of relevant posts and comments, I remember a couple of English professors at my college who began to combat this in a way I found clever and unique.

It started with one loudmouthed kid who sat in my office one day
blaming his professor for a plagiarized paper. The argument was illogical but boldly proclaimed. He said, "My professor never even saw a rough draft." (Why? Because the kid skipped it.) "My professor gave me so much time out of class to work on it." (Why? Well, because this is college.) In the end, the kid just bought or copied a paper from an essay mill and turned it in. It popped up 90% plagiarized in our SafeAssign software, and then I was asked to be involved.

In the aftermath of that, two English professors made changes to their "out of class" essays, requiring that they be written - for the most part - in computer labs, much as they had run their final exams in the past. They had noted an increase in plagiarism and a complementary discrepancy in the quality of out of class and in class writing.

These profs, both of whom who are still here and thriving, began to book 2-4 classes in a row in our computer labs. Essay assignments were given ahead of time, and students could make notes and outlines and even do research. But they could not write.

Only in the labs were they allowed to work on their actual documents. At the end of lab time on a particular day the professors gathered the in-progress drafts (one on a flash or external drive; one by taking in emailed files.) Then the next day the students would continue with those same files.

I'm sure some kid figured out a way around the system, but all in all the incidences of plagiarism plummeted in those courses. The practice has now spread to some other faculty in English, and a great amount of worry that our students are doing their own work has dissipated.

I don't know if this kind of thing would work for everyone, of if there are some important pedagogical practices being skipped, but I do know it made for a lighter load for me.

- Yuri

Early Thirsty From Tentative Tina.

I can't seem to
drink this problem
I'm a freeway flyer, as we used to say, and I'm stuck at the WORST COLLEGE IN AMERICA for 2 sections this term because my normal part-time gig got plucked by someone else. Anyway, that's straightened out and I won't have to return to this place again.

However, I am taking in final papers from my students and they are FULL of plagiarism cases. If anyone uses Turnitin software to check essays' originality, you'll know the special horror of seeing a row of 90+% papers come in at the deadline.

I don't mind giving the Fs. But at this college I'm supposed to also fill out formal academic cheating forms for the Dean's office, each one is 3 pages, for each student, and then "be available" over the semester break for followup and disputes.

No. No. I can't do that. I don't want to do that. I want to flunk the worst offenders and not report them. I want to tell the ones who seem to be good students (like my 40 year old air/conditioner company owner who has done solid B work all term) that he's made a HUGE mistake by copying a freshman paper from 2001 and turning it in on his own.

I don't want to shirk my responsibilities as an educator. But I DO want to shirk my responsibilities as a part-timer with no history or future at this place.

Q: Am I Just Too Precious and Lazy and Wrong For Words? I Sense I Am. Help? What Should I Do? And What Would You Do?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

From Stanley in Statesboro.

At the last minute faculty got it cancelled.
Yes, we have a gun range on campus.

tu esd ay

O pe n 4 rUm 

Monday, December 5, 2016

POW! From the Wombat.

I'm going to miss class today.  What do I do?

-NotWombat's Student


IDK, Netflix?