Mar 212013

I’ve been thinking about how to make improvements to academic standards, while at the same time, balance the general drift towards being merely a service department in the delivery of the so-called ‘student experience’. Here are are some ground rules that I will start to apply and bring into operation for the start of the new academic year.

Here’s my draft ten-point plan that I will give to students at the start of each academic year. Can you make any suggestions that will improve it – without going past ten points?

  1. I am not your friend.
  2. I will not interact with you using social media. I do not want to be familiar and develop a personal relationship with you.
  3. We will arrange formal meetings using email. These emails will be written with proper grammar and punctuation.
  4. At our meetings you will bring a notebook, a study plan and a pen. I will read the study plan and make comments if it is sent to me forty-eight hours before the meeting.
  5. I will be available for general contact only during normal office hours. We have timetabled lecture and workshop sessions, in which time will be given to the discussion of relevant learning issues. Come prepared to those sessions.
  6. I will allocate fixed office hours each week so that we can meet to discuss general learning issues.
  7. I will not give instant replies to requests to complete forms or questions that you have. I produce an extensive module handbook, with an extensive reading list. Look at them. Questions will take me approximately seven days to respond to, unless the email is clearly marked as urgent, and proves to be urgent. Your emergency and lack of planning is not my priority.
  8. Do not send me anything that has not been proof-read and checked in advance for spelling, grammar and punctuation. If a file will not open, or it has become corrupted, that is not my problem.
  9. If an online collaborative space is required to meet the learning outcomes of a module, then a facility will be provided that will have a strict code of conduct of mutual respect.
  10. I will help you learn – all the rest is distraction.

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