Do you ever feel like not doing what is expected of you? Watch

gjd800
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#21
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#21
(Original post by blacksheep8)
I agree. I've gotten some really harsh criticism throughout my time so far and I have really broken down at times. Recently this happened and I just thought... god, I'd hate to be a lecturer and know that I've done this to someone. They forget that their feedback can seriously affect students.
There is a point to be made here, for sure, and we have all seen or experienced narky academics. But the wider problem is (and I've seen this from both sides of the fence) that an increasing amount of students now take anything that isn't 'well done, cherub - you are amazing' as harsh. I had a *****y email from a student only a matter of weeks ago accusing me of bias and/or of not knowing my own specialist area because they 'tried really hard' in an assessment and 'only' got a 2:1. They then went to my HoD and complained about the 'harshness' of the marking and the 'abrupt' written feedback. it is crazy. Criticism is what it is, it is there to help you get better. Praising the good only goes so far -- if I tell my student, 'well that was a good introduction' but ignore that their argument is utter shite, it doesn't improve anything at all. You need to balance pointing out strengths with robust criticism of weaknesses.
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blacksheep8
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#22
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#22
(Original post by gjd800)
There is a point to be made here, for sure, and we have all seen or experienced narky academics. But the wider problem is (and I've seen this from both sides of the fence) that an increasing amount of students now take anything that isn't 'well done, cherub - you are amazing' as harsh. I had a *****y email from a student only a matter of weeks ago accusing me of bias and/or of not knowing my own specialist area because they 'tried really hard' in an assessment and 'only' got a 2:1. They then went to my HoD and complained about the 'harshness' of the marking and the 'abrupt' written feedback. it is crazy. Criticism is what it is, it is there to help you get better. Praising the good only goes so far -- if I tell my student, 'well that was a good introduction' but ignore that their argument is utter shite, it doesn't improve anything at all. You need to balance pointing out strengths with robust criticism of weaknesses.
I disagree. I think a teacher or lecturer can point some things out that might do with some improvement by suggesting ways of improving or asking questions, like 'what does this suggest about that' if it hasn't already been written, or 'i can see what point you are trying to make here but try to link it with this, or try to focus on expressing the idea clearly'. Honestly words and phrases like 'try' or 'I see what point you're making but' makes a world of a difference and is something that doesn't cost much to a teacher or lecturer. If they want their students to succeed they need to be encouraging them rather than looking to doubt, poke and criticise. That sort of thing just makes a student feel like they can't do it, so then their work does turn out shoddy in the end - or it gets better but with a price: their mental health.
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gjd800
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#23
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(Original post by blacksheep8)
I disagree. I think a teacher or lecturer can point some things out that might do with some improvement by suggesting ways of improving or asking questions, like 'what does this suggest about that' if it hasn't already been written, or 'i can see what point you are trying to make here but try to link it with this, or try to focus on expressing the idea clearly'. Honestly words and phrases like 'try' or 'I see what point you're making but' makes a world of a difference and is something that doesn't cost much to a teacher or lecturer. If they want their students to succeed they need to be encouraging them rather than looking to doubt, poke and criticise. That sort of thing just makes a student feel like they can't do it, so then their work does turn out shoddy in the end - or it gets better but with a price: their mental health.
That still only addresses half the point. Try to do xyz, yes fine. Then you need to say why, and the saying why is still criticism. You are there to have your ideas and abilities critiqued. This is a fact.
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gjd800
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(Original post by blacksheep8)
I disagree. I think a teacher or lecturer can point some things out that might do with some improvement by suggesting ways of improving or asking questions, like 'what does this suggest about that' if it hasn't already been written, or 'i can see what point you are trying to make here but try to link it with this, or try to focus on expressing the idea clearly'. Honestly words and phrases like 'try' or 'I see what point you're making but' makes a world of a difference and is something that doesn't cost much to a teacher or lecturer. If they want their students to succeed they need to be encouraging them rather than looking to doubt, poke and criticise. That sort of thing just makes a student feel like they can't do it, so then their work does turn out shoddy in the end - or it gets better but with a price: their mental health.
In fact ,on a second read, I don't think you actually addressed any of what I said at all!
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blacksheep8
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#25
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#25
(Original post by gjd800)
That still only addresses half the point. Try to do xyz, yes fine. Then you need to say why, and the saying why is still criticism. You are there to have your ideas and abilities critiqued. This is a fact.
Suggesting how or why to make something better might still be criticism, but it's better than sharp, one-worded criticisms that don't even address ways of improvement. They just work against you. They just shut down your confidence, it's evidently wrong. Criticism can be constructive, and that's what it needs to be.
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gjd800
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(Original post by blacksheep8)
Suggesting how or why to make something better might still be criticism, but it's better than sharp, one-worded criticisms that don't even address ways of improvement. They just work against you. They just shut down your confidence, it's evidently wrong. Criticism can be constructive, and that's what it needs to be.
Here's some constructive criticism -- actually go back and read what I said (especially the first and last sentences) before you reply with 'I disagree'. Everything you just bandied out is implied therein. You suggested working with adult students like we work with dogs, i.e. ignoring bad form and rewarding good. Well, students are not dogs, and consequently, this exact approach does not work -- it should be obvious as to why.

Single word points barely qualify as criticism at all.
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blacksheep8
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#27
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#27
(Original post by gjd800)
In fact ,on a second read, I don't think you actually addressed any of what I said at all!
I can't see what you wrote to your student so I can't judge. Yes from your point of view they were wrong or unreasonable. But it's going to be biased, because it's against you. May be your criticism really was too harsh and not constructive enough. Maybe there were things about the situation that made it seem like an odd coincidence for the student, maybe they weren't coincidences at all.. Idk. That's why I didn't respond.
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gjd800
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(Original post by blacksheep8)
I can't see what you wrote to your student so I can't judge. Yes from your point of view they were wrong or unreasonable. But it's going to be biased, because it's against you. May be your criticism really was too harsh and not constructive enough. Maybe there were things about the situation that made it seem like an odd coincidence for the student, maybe they weren't coincidences at all.. Idk. That's why I didn't respond.
That was an example, not the point. The point is that for every narky lecturer, there is a precious student that freaks out at feedback tha most other people would consider entirely reasonable. Like i said, there are points to be made re nark lecturers and arsey feedback -- we have all had it -- but it's not the whole story (or the only story). Students are increasingly touchy, it's weird.
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It's****ingWOODY
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As I was growing up, I feel like I worried too much about disappointing people, so rebelling against what was expected of me wasn't on the agenda, like at all. As an adult, I don't like to feel as though people expect things of me or take liberties with assuming things of me, and I'll find a way to shut that s*** down.
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blacksheep8
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#30
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(Original post by It's****ingWOODY)
As I was growing up, I feel like I worried too much about disappointing people, so rebelling against what was expected of me wasn't on the agenda, like at all. As an adult, I don't like to feel as though people expect things of me or take liberties with assuming things of me, and I'll find a way to shut that s*** down.
Interesting. Well, that sounds pretty good to me
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blacksheep8
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#31
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#31
(Original post by gjd800)
Here's some constructive criticism -- actually go back and read what I said (especially the first and last sentences) before you reply with 'I disagree'. Everything you just bandied out is implied therein. You suggested working with adult students like we work with dogs, i.e. ignoring bad form and rewarding good. Well, students are not dogs, and consequently, this exact approach does not work -- it should be obvious as to why.

Single word points barely qualify as criticism at all.
It does work. Don't just shut it down like you have the authority to say that it doesn't work! It's a tried and true method. And I didn't just say dogs, I said children as well, so maybe read a little closer.
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gjd800
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#32
(Original post by blacksheep8)
It does work. Don't just shut it down like you have the authority to say that it doesn't work! It's a tried and true method. And I didn't just say dogs, I said children as well, so maybe read a little closer.
Children =/= with university students learning to process/do complex stuff. Try teaching a course where you praise the good bits but completely ignore the poor bits. See how it goes. The poor bits will stay the same, i.e. shite.
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Lady Jamie
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#33
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#33
(Original post by blacksheep8)
I disagree. I think a teacher or lecturer can point some things out that might do with some improvement by suggesting ways of improving or asking questions, like 'what does this suggest about that' if it hasn't already been written, or 'i can see what point you are trying to make here but try to link it with this, or try to focus on expressing the idea clearly'. Honestly words and phrases like 'try' or 'I see what point you're making but' makes a world of a difference and is something that doesn't cost much to a teacher or lecturer. If they want their students to succeed they need to be encouraging them rather than looking to doubt, poke and criticise. That sort of thing just makes a student feel like they can't do it, so then their work does turn out shoddy in the end - or it gets better but with a price: their mental health.
I'm pretty okay with handling criticism if they keep it strictly work-related *quickly deletes my crying posts on my gyg. It was a shocker at first but after getting my second assessment back, I feel like it was really effective so now I'm quite thankful. Although I recognise that the 'tough-love' might not be for everyone.

The instances I was referring to are more on a personal level. Sometimes the tone plays a huge role (just last week, my obligation's seminar leader dismissed a guy's idea so quickly that it left all of us in shock. He basically interrupted the student and said 'you are completely off' in a harsh tone and moved on to a new point). Another one is when they ask 'did you guys even do the reading?'. Idk, I might be too fragile when it comes to seminars but...we did the reading...

Best piece of advice given to me is to not take them personally. It's hard but just focus on improving. They are not personal attacks and do not reflect you as an individual
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awkwardshortguy
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I can be stubborn about some things in life, I guess, but I don't go about deliberately disappointing people - doing that is just my nature.
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blacksheep8
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#35
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#35
(Original post by gjd800)
Children =/= with university students learning to process/do complex stuff. Try teaching a course where you praise the good bits but completely ignore the poor bits. See how it goes. The poor bits will stay the same, i.e. shite.
Who said we should completely ignore the bad bits?
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gjd800
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(Original post by Lady Jamie)
I'm pretty okay with handling criticism if they keep it strictly work-related *quickly deletes my crying posts on my gyg. It was a shocker at first but after getting my second assessment back, I feel like it was really effective so now I'm quite thankful. Although I recognise that the 'tough-love' might not be for everyone.

The instances I was referring to are more on a personal level. Sometimes the tone plays a huge role (just last week, my obligation's seminar leader dismissed a guy's idea so quickly that it left all of us in shock. He basically interrupted the student and said 'you are completely off' in a harsh tone and moved on to a new point). Another one is when they ask 'did you guys even do the reading?'. Idk, I might be too fragile when it comes to seminars but...we did the reading...

Best piece of advice given to me is to not take them personally. It's hard but just focus on improving. They are not personal attacks and do not reflect you as an individual
Those sort of instances are examples of ******** moves, for sure. But there's a difference between doing that and saying 'look, this part of your argument is really weak because x y z'. If we were to take the dog analogy seriously, we'd ignore the weakness and pat them on the head for managing to do something else reasonably well. That's the other end of the extreme. Instead, a middle ground where you robustly deal with a piece, but fairly. I don't think that this should be too controversial.
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Vinny C
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God, yes... it is rule no.1 in the Art of War.
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gjd800
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(Original post by blacksheep8)
Who said we should completely ignore the bad bits?
That is what is involved when you train dogs via +tive reinforcement, mate. They do something bad, you ignore it. They do something better, you reward it. So the dog analogy fails. (Incidentally, training parrots works the same way.)
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blacksheep8
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#39
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#39
(Original post by Lady Jamie)
I'm pretty okay with handling criticism if they keep it strictly work-related *quickly deletes my crying posts on my gyg. It was a shocker at first but after getting my second assessment back, I feel like it was really effective so now I'm quite thankful. Although I recognise that the 'tough-love' might not be for everyone.

The instances I was referring to are more on a personal level. Sometimes the tone plays a huge role (just last week, my obligation's seminar leader dismissed a guy's idea so quickly that it left all of us in shock. He basically interrupted the student and said 'you are completely off' in a harsh tone and moved on to a new point). Another one is when they ask 'did you guys even do the reading?'. Idk, I might be too fragile when it comes to seminars but...we did the reading...

Best piece of advice given to me is to not take them personally. It's hard but just focus on improving. They are not personal attacks and do not reflect you as an individual
Oh gosh, that's horrible. Honestly, I'm a really empathetic person so it actually hurt just reading what you wrote happened to that poor guy. That's beyond terrible, and just wrong on so many levels.

See, to me I think effort needs to be made on both sides. Lecturers/ teachers need to strive to be more gentle with criticism, and focus on being constructive and praising what goes well (this is a genuine concern of mine because I have often got essays back where I have failed to get the praise they meant to 'imply' by not criticising chunks of work, and I've just been like... okay, was that good or bad? Do I need to change that??- tell me for future reference!! It's a genuine issue. Like they're oh so shy of praising students -_-) and students should respond to this positive feedback positively - and in most cases they sure as hell would. I've had lecturers give me constructive feedback, nothing too special, but a sign that they know where I'm going with this etc, and I've been like YES I can do this! I'm going to do better next time.
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gjd800
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(Original post by blacksheep8)
See, to me I think effort needs to be made on both sides. Lecturers/ teachers need to strive to be more gentle with criticism, and focus on being constructive and praising what goes well
Yeah, 100% -- not controversial at all! Or shouldn't be... But there is gonna be (needs to be) criticism, and not just blowing smoke up backsides for the sake of it.
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