image-1 image-3-300x198 image-7 image-8-300x199 image-10-300x199 image-5-300x199 Female student in the classroom on the computer at the Waterbury Campus. image-2-300x198 image-9-300x199

Respect on the Line: Questions & Scenarios

Bad Grade (2:15)

The following sets of questions are intended to stimulate discussion. They are roughly categorized for the consideration of undergraduates, teaching assistants, and faculty/administration. Clearly there is a lot of overlap. Please use our suggestions as seems fit for your situation and audience.

Undergraduates

  • Do you think that the student must have had a history of bad rapport with the TA? Should they have sorted it out before?
  • Should the student have directly challenged the TA in class? Should the student have walked out?

Teaching Assistants

  • Was the TA too formal in responding to the student’s challenge?
  • The TA indicated a state of resignation as the student walked. Should the TA have let the student walk out? Should the TA have involved the whole class at that stage?
  • Was the TA reasonable, in general, in her office?
  • Should the TA have told the student “that is your problem”? Did this provoke the student ‘s response? Would it have made a difference if the TA had responded differently?
  • Should the TA have put the quiz assessment in the context of the course’s grading?
  • The student said that the TA did not know “ . . how to teach”. How does this scenario relate to ‘teaching’?

Faculty / Administration

  • Whose responsibility was it to sort this situation out? Should the professor have been informed? What could/should he have done?
  • Were the rest of the class satisfied with the situation? Does everyone know what ‘grading on a curve’ means? – when it makes sense and when it does not?
  • What subsequent actions should the TA and/or professor take?
  • What could the institution do to prevent this sort of occurrence?

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Extra Credit (2:02)

The following sets of questions are intended to stimulate discussion. They are roughly categorized for the consideration of undergraduates, teaching assistants, and faculty/administration. Clearly there is a lot of overlap. Please use our suggestions as seems fit for your situation and audience.

Teaching Assistants

  • Can you identify anything in the lead female character’s behavior that would make you uncomfortable? If so, what?
  • Do you think the physics TA responded appropriately to her comments and questions?
  • Do you think her behavior could be considered disruptive to the class?
  • Would you do anything differently than this TA?
  • What other variations on this behavior might you encounter in a class?

Undergraduates

  • Would the female student’s behavior bother you? Why or why not?
  • If this student were a friend of yours, would you say anything to her?
  • What do you think her intentions are?
  • How do you think her behavior is affecting the TA? Or the rest of the class?

Faculty / Administration

  • How should the university approach this sort of behavior? Or should it be left to the individual instructors?

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Disruption (2:49)

The following sets of questions are intended to stimulate discussion. They are roughly categorized for the consideration of undergraduates, teaching assistants, and faculty/administration. Clearly there is a lot of overlap. Please use our suggestions as seems fit for your situation and audience.

Teaching Assistants

  • Do you think that the TA’s accent is a problem?
  • Does the TA show the right attitude to the class?
  • Did he respond to questions properly?
  • How should the TA have dealt with the disruptions?
    • Students not prepared
    • Challenging the TA
    • Talking in class
    • Leaving early
    • Arriving late

Undergraduates

  • What should the students do if they don’t understand something?
  • Are the students learning anything? If not, why not?
  • Is the style of teaching appropriate?
  • Is there appropriate engagement?
  • Why do the students think that this discussion class is a waste of time?
  • Do the students have some responsibility for the classroom culture?

Faculty / Administration

  • Does the (supervisory) professor have a role in solving this problem?
  • Should the department’s administration get involved?
  • What could the institution do to prevent this sort of occurrence?

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Just Kidding (4:46)

The following sets of questions are intended to stimulate discussion. They are roughly categorized for the consideration of undergraduates, teaching assistants, and faculty/administration. Clearly there is a lot of overlap. Please use our suggestions as seems fit for your situation and audience.

Undergraduates and Teaching Assistants

  • Should the professor have removed the drawing? What was the purpose of leaving it there?
  • Should the professor have interrupted the class?
  • Should the professor have asked the TA to remain?
  • Did the professor take the correct approach in challenging the class?
  • Was the professor right in assuming the drawing was done by a man?

Teaching Assistants

  • Should the TA have erased the drawing straightaway?
  • Should the TA have walked out? Should the TA have shown more emotion?
  • Should the TA have challenged the class?

Undergraduates

  • Should the class have challenged the ‘artists’ – their classmates?
  • The women (same gender) indicate a willingness to be party to the activity at the expense of the TA (same gender but different race). Why?
  • Should a student ‘finger’ the perpetrators?
  • Would your opinion differ if this had occurred more that once?
  • “We were only kidding”, “we were just joking”, what’s the problem”? In your opinion, what is the problem?
  • How do we educate all students in respect of diversity, recognition of sincerity under pressure, etc?

Faculty / Administration

  • Should the professor have dismissed the class?
  • Should the professor take on the disciplinary responsibility or pass it to a higher authority?
  • What other questions are raised with this scenario?
  • What could the institution do to prevent this sort of occurrence?

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New TA Orientation
August 26, 2015 - Laurel Hall (LH)

To register please click here (will bring you to the Graduate School website)