Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Inconsistent colleague corrections?

I am fortunate to work in a department where all of my collegues are professional and competent (this is a rarity in academia as elsewhere). That doesn't stop me from wanting to change some of their behaviors/notes/questions/policies.
For example: 1) Our majors intro class has several lecture sections and many lab sections. My lecture is a week behind where we should be based on my syllabus (which is based upon the official course outline). Another professor is at least 2 weeks behind me. This bothers me because it does affect lab (I teach 3 of the 5 sections and they are scheduled to correspond with lecture) and it means that there is NO WAY she will cover evolution effectively and we will have students leaving our majors class without hitting Hardy-Weinberg.
2) I just received my fall reviews saying how hard I am (typical) in my non-majors class. Just as I was thinking that I wasn't any harder than anyone else, I learned of a section that is receiving points for doing a WORD SEARCH in college biology (and, sadly, one of our student aides had to correct said word searches).
3) I'm guest lecturing tomorrow and the mitosis powerpoint from the instructor (which the students already have) includes the sentence "Eukaryotic organisms do not rely on cell division for reproduction." (HUH?)
I know that I should just shut up and be thankful that I work in such a generally good environment, but I would be delighted to hear of tactful strategies for dealing with peers in such situations.


Jennifer said...

Wow I am still trying to process doing word searches in college (much less getting a grade for them)....there seems to be such little educational value in that.

I don't really have any good suggestions right now.

Beth said...

I would ask them afterwards, what they meant by that statement since it always could be a typo.

No idea on what to do with the word searches. Is there a curriculum committee which talks about such matters?

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Just gave the lecture and boy did it leave me appreciating my own class. The actual sentence was even worse-- eukaryotic CELLS do not rely on cell division for reproduction. Instead they use cell division for growth, repair and replacement."
I pretended it was a typo (these are much used lectures-- it's not) and told the students to change it to, "Most eukaryotic organisms do not rely on cell division only for reproduction. They ALSO use cell .. . "
Student here in office, more later

Beth said...


I would start with the word searches since that's theoretically easily fixable and then maybe ask them later about how cell division was used in the lecture since students were confused about when it was used in reproduction (as explained hopefully in your book in chapter x).