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Posts Tagged ‘Meeting with Students’

This semester I have been attempting to find out how many meetings a single professor can have with students before going insane. Whenever students are responsible for large assignments on topics of their own choosing I like to meet with them to make sure that they don’t go astray. For example, students in research methods have met with me and stated that they are interested in studying cancer. Not the social effects but cancer itself. How it can be prevented, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated. Clearly, this is not a sociological topic! (Actually, I should allow students to use this. I would like to see how they propose to study these things using sociological methods.)

So meeting with students is good, but this semester I ended up assigning this sort of project in all three of my courses, leading to nearly 80 meetings and a serious reconsideration of my usual practice. On top of that, I offered students in one class an extra two points on their exam if they met with me to discuss what went right and (mostly) what went wrong in their preparation. I go back and forth on offering extra credit for an activity that I wish students would do anyway, but this does allow me to check in with them and let them know that I’m on their side as long as they’re willing to do the necessary work. Of course, only about half of the students who actually met with me did poorly on their exams…

I somehow survived all of these meetings over the course of about a month. I’m not sure whether it made me insane. Next up: meeting with my 50 advisees about their spring schedules!

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