June 6th, 2008 12:20 AM
Ruffling Feathers in the English Department at UCincy
Thought some of you would get a kick out of this. I just finished up my "e-portfolio" that the department mandates our professors shove down our throats. I'm lucky enough that mine said just put some text on there and I'll call it 100%
But why be happy with just that? After all, why write a quick note when you can write a novel?
I'll skip the copy/pasting of the essays - if you really want to read essays reviewing a short story, Julius Caesar, and I, Robot, PM me and I'll copy it for you (although I do think the I,Robot is a rather interesting one that goes against the grain).
On to the meat and potatoes!
CAS Course and Assignment Reflection
English 103 - Spring 2008
The views expressed by the author have been previously described as painfully honest and to the point - take them with a grain of salt and realize that some things are beyond the control of the faculty, but other things are not.
This is not an observation of the professor teaching the course, it is one of the course and it's faults and benefits as seen by Michael A. XXXXXXXXX. The author can be reached at email@example.com. The professor has already had their performance reviewed by the students which was submitted to the department per University policies.
The comments are meant for the people who create the department guidelines and requirements for all English 103 courses. There will be spelling and gramatical errors throughout, as everything except the essays were written on the fly on LiveText.com
To be quite frank, this course is to attempt to get people to do something they should have been doing their entire lives - to think for themselves and to think critically of the subject matter from all sides that they can conceive. People at the age of 18 should have enough of a grasp on the English language to be able to easily write most of these assignments in a few hours, but most were having problems given a week or more to write - and even some were asking for the assignment to be verbally explained to them the day before the rough drafts were due.
I found during my 10 weeks in this chair that a majority of the students had the same exact opinions, which were always filled with "I uh...I don't know" in the middle or their sentences and at the end (even in peer to peer discussions) - quite a shame, as I know my high school education did not prepare me for college or the real world - I can only imagine what a disservice students younger than me by a mere 5 years were given.
I also believe that this e-portfolio is a complete waste of my time, as I'll be handing in a hard copy of all my written papers, and the professor wrote the syllabus. Creating resumes is discussed at length in Intro to Coop, and I have better things to do with my time than do this.
This course reflection was INTENTIONALLY kept in plain view (not hidden) contrary to the English Department's instructions. This was done because the author firmly believes that there is no better feedback that an instructor can get on their course or teaching methods than to sit down and ask one of their students.
Departmental/co-worker advice and constructive criticism have their place, but the people that are giving the feedback are giving the reviews to the professor second hand. That is no way for anybody to effectively improve their course or their performance. Some factors are beyond the professor's control, and those things should not be held against the professor teaching the material.
The author has also intentionally skipped thesis statement and body paragraphs for this review, and instead has answered the questions directly as they appeared. Again, this is in the name of constructive criticism.
I have been graded and judged on my literary skills for the past 10 weeks in this course, and for the previous 14 years in educational institutes of some nature. If this portion of the e-portfolio is truly a review, then this will not count against the grade for the portfolio - if it is busy work it will count against me, and so be it if that is the case.
1. What did you learn or do that specially helped you become more skilled or more knowledgeable about your major?
Continued emphasis on punctuation and efforts to convey the information to somebody with no previous background of the subject at hand. I tend to assume people have an inkling about everything for some odd reason.
2. Did you learn to apply new functions of mathematics, science, engineering or technology?
I personally did not - I graduated 5 years ago and have worked full time for a few years in applicable fields to my major, as well as my experience with Formula SAE. This course was not about applying functions, it was about critical thinking and it's related portions of writing papers.
3. Did you conduct, analyze, or interpret experiments? Did you apply your results to improve processes in your major?
No, but we did write papers with input and feedback from both peers and our professor.
4. Did you apply creativity in designing systems, components, or processes related to this course?
5. Did you work effectively with a team?
I had trouble getting honest opinions and feedback out of classmates. There tends to be a common trend of thinking that the professor is always right, or my grade may suffer. That is not what college is about. This is something that is beyond the control or scope of the professor.
6. Did you develop your ability to identify, analyze and solve technical problems?
My punctuation has improved.
7. Did you develop your oral and written communication skills?
Yes, I did.
8. Were you encouraged to develop an appreciation for lifelong learning?
That was instilled upon me by my grandfather. He earned his masters in chemical engineering while working full time at DuPont and raising 4 children. He later held very high positions in Monsanto, and played critical roles in many of projects including the Manhattan Project. Nobody in our family knows exactly what he has worked on since much of it is still classified. I personally believe the day you stop learning at least one new thing every day is the day you die. College has not changed this opinion. Your mileage may vary.
9. Do you understand professional, social, and/or ethical responsibilities as a result of this course?
I can thank my parents and grandparents for my social and ethical responsibilities, and working since I was 16 for my professional responsibilities. It is not a university's job to instill social or ethical responsibilities - that is the job of the student and their life experiences. The last thing this country needs is a larger group of people who all have the same exact set of morals and ethics, and thus the same exact mindset on almost everything. That is when you loose critical thinking and different ways of looking at the same problem.
I repeat - no university should attempt to instill ANY professional, social, or ethical responsibilities on any students. It is not your job to raise people, it is your job to instill education and theories.
10. Did the course help you develop respect for diversity and knowledge of professional, societal, and global issues?
I hope that others gained some respect for that. I have been immersed in that for a long time, but very few students had a single independent viewpoint that I could detect, and very few of them knew anything about global issues or historical facts unless they were spoon fed it by the media - and we all know how dangerous it is to go to one source for all your information.
11. Did the course encourage you to develop a commitment to quality, continuous improvement, and timeliness in your professional life?
That is the only way to succeed in life. Again, it is not your responsibility to even attempt to instill any of these factors in anybody. You are not parents, you are hired to provide a service - in this case to teach the finer points of the English language.
June 6th, 2008 03:56 PM
Drink some SlimFast and take a few pounds off the old ego.
If you are so smart that you don't need to be going to college, don't go.
June 6th, 2008 08:33 PM
Originally Posted by Hopyard
You're reading a little bit too deep for something that's not there bud. I'm no genius, hence why I'm going.
I despise bean counters who ask for questionnaires and materials that are not only redundant, but also dont' apply to the subject matter.
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