Author Topic: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.  (Read 6190 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3743
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2013, 10:29:08 PM »
So, how is she passing if she's not turning in her work?

snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2013, 10:37:55 PM »
for the group work, people have covered her, because they didn't want her lackings do destroy their grades.  One can complain all they want, but no one is going to not do  the work and fail because of it. For the individual work - I have no idea.

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2712
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2013, 10:48:26 PM »
In this class, will groups be assigned or do you get to pick who you work with?

If the latter, problem solved - you never have to work with her.

If the former, I just might drop a quick note to the prof and state that you and/or people you know have done group projects with her in previous classes, and you would be most appreciative if he didn't assign you to the same group as her.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

CatFanatic

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1366
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2013, 10:51:08 PM »
I teach at university. If one of my students pulled this crap, I would want to know about it pronto, so I could yank them into line. This is totally unacceptable.

Send an e-mail (preferably with screenshot), noting that this student has a history of this behaviour (examples, please), and if possible have the names of other class members who are willing to support you on this.

JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6034
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2013, 01:22:38 AM »
I think it it's reasonable to ask the professor to not have any group projects. If there must be group projects, request that you be able to form your own groups. And no one pick her.
I am adjunct faculty for one course in my specialty.  I have no problem telling students that have not competed work by a certain timeframe that I doubt they will be able to finish the class, and I suggest they take an incomplete instead of failing, and then cut back drastically on course load the next semester. I even had one student take a year of from the program after I gave a very honest critique of their effort and chances of passing if they did not cut back on other obligations and focus on school.

sweetonsno

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1372
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2013, 01:26:41 AM »

Ugh, vomit. I teach online and that is not the type of student I want. I'm flexible about due dates for the first week or two, as the texts for my class are often on backorder at most retailers.

As for the introductory assignment, I vote for saying nothing about her refusal to answer some questions. I assume that the instructor didn't ask anything inappropriate or overly personal, so she's just reflecting badly on herself. The prattling on about her kids is annoying but harmless. You are right to be worried about her sense of entitlement and your previous experience, though.

Here are my thoughts on her expectation that you'll all pick up slack for her:
1. She's wrong and she's out of line. Both her classmates and her instructor have noticed.
2. The instructor may have addressed it privately, but if not, I wouldn't be too explicit in telling her "oh HAIL no" on the discussion board. If you are really in a dither about not saying anything, then you can post her a reminder of the late work policy. (Your university probably has a policy in place about how to request extensions, right?)
3. If you can decide who is on your team (or make requests), I vote for framing it in the most positive way possible. Instead of saying, "Not her," ask for specific other students. Cite tangible reasons (similar schedules, you live nearby, you've worked together before successfully, you have complimentary strengths, you have the same interest/major).
4. If you get paired with her anyway, set a schedule that has a bit of wiggle room (don't have each component "due" the day before the project needs to be handed in). If she is late, email her asking when you can expect her portion. If she is late again (or directly asks you to do her part), forward it to the instructor.

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8444
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2013, 01:48:06 AM »
If your course does involve group work with assigned groups, I think it's perfectly reasonable to ask the professor what the policy is for group members who refuse to participate or do the assigned work, from a marking and organizational perspective.

Once you know that, given your history with this person, if you are assigned to a group with her, I think it would then be reasonable to approach the professor and explain that you've worked with her in two separate group assignments, and encountered significant practical problems (not showing up, not doing work without warning the rest of the group).

If that doesn't work, and you're forced into a group with her, then I'd talk to the other students (ideally verbally rather than via email) and come up with a plan to split her work among the rest of you, if her lack of participation will affect your own grades.

If this woman is able to make it through a graduate program by not participating and getting her groups to cover her work, then that doesn't put the graduate program in a very good light.

I also agree with PPs that although you get slackers in real-life work situations, school group work and real world group work tends to be very different in how it's handled. For one thing, in a job situation employers tend not to like hiring and paying dead weight, and disciplining or getting rid of an employee who isn't doing their job is in their best interest. For another, employers generally require that their employees show up at work regularly, so it's a lot harder to skip out on meetings or completely vanish from contact during a project.

If I worked for someone, and went to my supervisor with concerns over a coworker who was not doing work that directly affect my ability to do my job and my employer said, in essence "Tough. It's your problem to figure it out and make them do it, and if your work suffers as a result of their lack of effort, you'll be disciplined/fired,"  I'd probably start looking for another job with a sane boss.

Raintree

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5975
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2013, 04:38:34 AM »
I also agree with PPs that although you get slackers in real-life work situations, school group work and real world group work tends to be very different in how it's handled. For one thing, in a job situation employers tend not to like hiring and paying dead weight, and disciplining or getting rid of an employee who isn't doing their job is in their best interest. For another, employers generally require that their employees show up at work regularly, so it's a lot harder to skip out on meetings or completely vanish from contact during a project.

If I worked for someone, and went to my supervisor with concerns over a coworker who was not doing work that directly affect my ability to do my job and my employer said, in essence "Tough. It's your problem to figure it out and make them do it, and if your work suffers as a result of their lack of effort, you'll be disciplined/fired,"  I'd probably start looking for another job with a sane boss.

Well put. I've always felt that the argument, "You have to deal with people like this in the real world" is weak, but I've never been able to say why. I've never, ever dealt with anything in the real world that remotely resembles the nightmare of a college/university group project and MIA group members.

As for this woman, I think her message deserves an immediate response: "Sorry, SS, but we ALL have obligations outside of our coursework and will be unable to take on extra coursework on your behalf." Then, if she tries anything, do take it to the prof.

I can't believe her audacity. It was HER decision to take on grad school and children simultaneously, not yours.

Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1137
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2013, 08:45:59 AM »

Ugh, vomit. I teach online and that is not the type of student I want. I'm flexible about due dates for the first week or two, as the texts for my class are often on backorder at most retailers.

As for the introductory assignment, I vote for saying nothing about her refusal to answer some questions. I assume that the instructor didn't ask anything inappropriate or overly personal, so she's just reflecting badly on herself. The prattling on about her kids is annoying but harmless. You are right to be worried about her sense of entitlement and your previous experience, though.

Here are my thoughts on her expectation that you'll all pick up slack for her:
1. She's wrong and she's out of line. Both her classmates and her instructor have noticed.
2. The instructor may have addressed it privately, but if not, I wouldn't be too explicit in telling her "oh HAIL no" on the discussion board. If you are really in a dither about not saying anything, then you can post her a reminder of the late work policy. (Your university probably has a policy in place about how to request extensions, right?)
3. If you can decide who is on your team (or make requests), I vote for framing it in the most positive way possible. Instead of saying, "Not her," ask for specific other students. Cite tangible reasons (similar schedules, you live nearby, you've worked together before successfully, you have complimentary strengths, you have the same interest/major).
4. If you get paired with her anyway, set a schedule that has a bit of wiggle room (don't have each component "due" the day before the project needs to be handed in). If she is late, email her asking when you can expect her portion. If she is late again (or directly asks you to do her part), forward it to the instructor.

POD to all of this. I'm also an online instructor and would recommend the same.

If you are paired with this SS, I think Alpacas had a great suggestion on how to deal with it.  I don't like the idea of covering for your classmate as you've done in the past. By doing that, your SS classmate is allowed to slide by and her classmates feel resentful. Assign specific tasks to specific group members and communicate that to the instructor. When the project deadline arrives, the instructor will know who dropped the ball.

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5112
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2013, 10:45:03 AM »
I would outright ask her if she knew what plagiarism was.

Then I would do as PPs have suggested and not say anything to the professor until it actually affects you. (That's assuming the professor has been reading the introductions and thus saw the post for himself).
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30473
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2013, 10:47:46 AM »
I also agree with PPs that although you get slackers in real-life work situations, school group work and real world group work tends to be very different in how it's handled. For one thing, in a job situation employers tend not to like hiring and paying dead weight, and disciplining or getting rid of an employee who isn't doing their job is in their best interest. For another, employers generally require that their employees show up at work regularly, so it's a lot harder to skip out on meetings or completely vanish from contact during a project.

If I worked for someone, and went to my supervisor with concerns over a coworker who was not doing work that directly affect my ability to do my job and my employer said, in essence "Tough. It's your problem to figure it out and make them do it, and if your work suffers as a result of their lack of effort, you'll be disciplined/fired,"  I'd probably start looking for another job with a sane boss.

Well put. I've always felt that the argument, "You have to deal with people like this in the real world" is weak, but I've never been able to say why. I've never, ever dealt with anything in the real world that remotely resembles the nightmare of a college/university group project and MIA group members.

As for this woman, I think her message deserves an immediate response: "Sorry, SS, but we ALL have obligations outside of our coursework and will be unable to take on extra coursework on your behalf." Then, if she tries anything, do take it to the prof.


I'm with Raintree, on both points. School isn't work. And I don't think you should treat them exactly the same. (for one thing, I don't pay money to work!)

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11656
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2013, 10:58:22 AM »
Please do forward her response on to your professor if he/she hasn't seen it already (at least the part about picking up her slack) and say something.  If you wait until a group project is assigned, you'll be stuck with her (if you can't get her out of the group) or you'll end up doing the project with one fewer person (if you do manage to get her ejected from your group).  Much better to address the issue upfront so you can avoid it altogether:

"Professor, this student has been clear that she believes her group members in small group projects should cover for her work and she shouldn't have to do as much (or any).  I have personally observed this happen in the two previous classes I've had with her, and her groupmates ended up doing the entire project in her stead because she wouldn't pull her weight.  Now that she's said upfront that she doesn't intend to put in her fair share of work, I'd really like to request that for any future group projects that I not be put in her group.  I do realize that working with people like this is part of the 'real world,' but it also compromises the education that I'm paying for and I want to avoid that situation.  Thank you!"

mrkitty

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 766
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2013, 11:19:22 AM »
Evil mrkitty would be tempted to reply: "So, would you like us to pay your tuition for you, too? How about we buy your books for you as well? Maybe pay your rent? Why not your utilities also? Maybe we should also take your children in so you can have more time to relax?"
But....that would be rude, so I don't recommend it. A bit too snarky, I think. (Though not untrue, I'm afraid.)

I would hesitate to say anything upfront to her or the professor. I would be concerned that it could be taken as a personal thing against her. Plus, it hasn't personally affected you in this class - yet. However, if by chance I were assigned to work with her on a project, and she started demanding that *I* or the group cover for her or pick up her slack, I would be direct with her (via email, if possible) and ask her just what she intends to contribute to the project. And if she comes back with her original statement of "I have kids" then you come back and say "We all have obligations and lives outside of class. But if we all did nothing, as you are proposing to do, we would all fail. So, are you telling me that you are willing to make us all fail the project because you refuse to contribute?" Basically, make her confess that she intends to produce NOTHING for the project and is willing to let you all fail OR force you into covering for her if you don't. THEN take that conversation and turn in the the copies of the email with the completed assignment THAT SHE DID NOT WORK ON because the group CUT HER OUT OF THE ASSIGNMENT at that point.

That is what I have done and it works. If a team member chooses not to participate or they drop the ball and you HAVE to cover for them, make sure to document that and notify the professor. I guarantee they won't pull that again - and if they do, it won't be with you, that's for sure.

I hope this helps, Snowdragon. I know it's frustrating. There is no reason in the world anyone should ever have to pull another student's weight like this. I can't tell you how many times I had been used in that regard in college until I figured it out. (People used to come to me frequently to ask me to "help" them with assignments - even if I wasn't in their class! I was SUCH a push over until I put my foot down.)

Document, document, document. And then report - at the appropriate time, of course.
Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

Trogdor

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2013, 01:05:34 PM »
I am an instructor in post secondary education, and the courses I teach involve group work. Nothing chaps my fundament more than instructors who won't address a problem student by using excuses like "you'll have to work with someone like this in the real world". It's nothing more than laziness and passing the buck. Those instructors need to take responsibility for how their classes are conducted. I think it is grossly unfair to penalize an entire group because one person refuses to work or has very bad time management skills.

I would document your interactions with this person and approach the professor about this. They can either place you in a group that does not contain the problem student, or they can get an outline of the group project detailing who is in charge of which part(s) and mark students individually according to participation and quality of their submitted content.

Starr

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Student Introductions/setting expecations for the course.
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2013, 12:04:01 AM »
It looks like you've already gotten some good responses upthread, but one thing I didn't see mentioned - *if* you get placed in a group with this person, make sure to document all communication via e-mail, so you have proof of what your group agreed to as far as divvying up work (for when she expects you to do her share).

I agree that I wouldn't confront her about her posting immediately.  Rather, wait and see if you are in a group with her.  If you are, and she repeats the bit about expecting you to help her (do her work), then I would politely let her know that you, too, have outside responsibilities and cannot do her share of the work as well as your own.

Hopefully, if your instructor saw her post, he or she has privately spoken to the other student and let her know her expectations are out of line and unacceptable.