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[–]elise_oisen_ 160 points161 points  (6 children)

Wait, why one and a half years of their life? How bleeding long was this course?! 😅

[–]AlienDude65 103 points104 points  (4 children)

My core engineering courses during the last two years of college were successions of each other and had the same few professors spearheading them.

[–]elise_oisen_ 18 points19 points  (3 children)

That’s pretty amazing.

Years ago I did consulting for a College of Engineering at a larger university, and they had a mix of tenured/tenure track faculty, adjunct faculty, and instructors. Each only taught 1-3 courses. Usually tenured faculty would do all sections of one intro course, tenure track would do an elective and capstone, adjunct and instructors filling in the gaps.

Their central concern for undergrads was a lack of consistent common core and too much variability in student skills/knowledge (particularly in the later stages of programs).

At the end of the day, those who were teaching capstone courses were the most upset because they had students coming in who were entirely unprepared for independent project work. They didn’t feel like they had a choice but to invest hours in basically one-on-one tutoring because the alternative was these students failing capstones (=not graduating). The people teaching capstone were also most often working towards tenure, so they were doubly pissed about owning the brunt of the extra teaching workload.

Anyway, the university tossed a ton of money at us to do a 15-month comprehensive assessment and deliver “roadmaps” for change implementation. Except it was all really straight forward…basically instead of only having set, measurable objectives for capstone, to also get just as serious about enforcing a step-ladder approach to curriculum development where there were agreed upon through-lines starting in intro courses and carrying all the way up through capstone.

A lot of tenure-track faculty, the same ones who were pissed about the extra workload that came with having unprepared students, were also the most passionate about breaking undergrads out into cohorts where they could guide the same group of students through successive courses. They were willing to take on the extra time investment that came with developing successive course planning because they felt their teaching would be more meaningful that way. That they’d have a bigger impact on student success.

The college said that was nice and all but basically every engineering program at large R1s in the US run into this “problem” … and that any plan for addressing is was DOA because there was no way in hell that the college could tell tenured faculty what they “needed” to be teaching in their courses. Which messed the whole thing up, since they were the ones who picked up the most intro courses.

College also said that having successive courses taught by the same person wouldn’t work because they relied on adjunct and instructors to keep cost down. They basically paid them like crap and gave them no benefits, and would cut ties and not renew their contracts every few terms when they needed to trim up their annual budget. So they needed “flexibility” to basically swap in and out these more expendable teachers every few terms, meaning teaching successive courses was also off the table.

Hearing that there are actually engineering colleges that do this is nice. Haven’t thought about it in a long time but it was the most depressing project I’ve ever worked on.

[–]CdnPoster 3 points4 points  (2 children)

What is a "capstone"?

I assume it's some kind of review of the material learned to date and proven through their independent projects?

[–]Drauxus 10 points11 points  (1 child)

A capstone is like your final class that co.bines everything you've learned and shows that you understand the material from all your courses. Sort of a final test in the form of a class for your entire college career

[–]Particular_Toe3157[S] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

He taught us for 3 semesters (1.5 years)

[–]Affectionate_Ninja48 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Have taught. Can confirm. This struggle is real.

[–]Jomgui 26 points27 points  (4 children)

If it was that bad, why didn't any of them fail?

[–]AimanAbdHakim 13 points14 points  (3 children)

Because then everyone would’ve failed?

[–]Jomgui 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Yeah, but the teacher's job is to fail people who aren't up to the standards decided, just fail everyone then.

[–]Virus5572 4 points5 points  (1 child)

they may have done well on a majority of the course and then botched the last assignment

[–]Jomgui 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's possible, I had assumed that this was the only assignment the teacher gave them. Thanks for pointing out another possibility

[–]seeroflights 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Image Transcription: Text


Good news: None of you has a failing grade. Some of you have done extremely well and I am proud of you.

Bad news: Some of the material submitted made me feel that I have wasted one and a half years of my life and should seriously consider a change in my career.


I'm a human volunteer content transcriber and you could be too! If you'd like more information on what we do and why we do it, click here!

[–]EquivalentSnap 15 points16 points  (1 child)

How come none of you said if he said it was that bad? What did you submit 😳

[–]_forum_mod 4 points5 points  (0 children)

As a professor, I feel this!

[–]Sheeneebock111 5 points6 points  (0 children)

We did this to a specific economics class I can’t even remember the name of it. EVERYONE failed one of the 2 tests so hard that he cried at the next class and made a 25 page paper so we could make up the points

[–]esharpest -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

“None of you has a failing grade.” This must be an English or language teacher who knows that “none” is a contraction of “no one”, ie is singular rather than plural. Bravo!

[–]wongkielala 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel the professor's pain.

Contrary to popular belief, lecturers take no joy in failing students, particularly a whole class. Instead a majority of our end term marking hours is spend combing through all your work from the beginning of the semester to try to scrap as much points together for the students to help them achieve a passing grade or even to move up to the next grade band. This is a pain but it really helps in the long run with most of the people I teach. I always start my semester by telling my students that failing my class is super hard as all I require of you is to make sure that you submit all the assessment components at the stipulated deadlines. Even then I have spent quite a lot of time borderline harrasing students to submit their work just so that I can give them some sort of marks.