A**hole lecturer

Watch this thread
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#1
Ok so I am in uni studying engineering now (1st year). One of my modules (thermodynamics) has a muppet for a lecturer. His course/lecture notes are extremely disorganised and and he uses complex and completely different nomenclature than what is accepted as standard in thermodynamics, making the material look like unintelligible gobbledygook. I have shown my lecture notes to five highly qualified private tutors outside uni, who between them have obtained engineering qualifications from the likes of Oxbridge, MIT and Imperial College London, and even they were baffled by my notes and all agreed in unison that the material was too complex for even a third or fourth year engineering undergraduate to comprehend, never mind a first year. What's more, when I looked through past papers (my exam is coming up this week), this lecturer has set questions on topics which are not even covered in the lecture notes!

Several times over the course of the year, I have e-mailed him to try and book an appointment to see him but he never replied to any of them. I got irate and one day just spontaneously turned up outside his room to try and get hold of him. He was inside, so I tried to politely talk to him about my difficulties, but he just said he was busy with research and that I was just wasting his precious time. At that point I was so pissed off I felt like throttling him and letting him know exactly what I thought of him. I couldn't believe his cheek! For God's sake, who did he think funded his precious 'research'? I pay around £9000 a year and the very least I could expect was ten minutes of his time right? The deputy lecturer/organiser for this module, when I went to see him, was not much better (hell, he was some Chinese guy who could not even speak English properly!).

For these reasons listed above, I am going to fail my thermodynamics exam on Wednesday and I am just so angry. I am not alone however, as practically everybody else on my course is in the same situation. So is there anybody I can go to to complain about this shoddy treatment? Perhaps an independent body governing universities? I would really appreciate some advice regarding this shambles.
0
reply
Mr Wednesday
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 4 months ago
#2
(Original post by Anonymous)
Ok so I am in uni studying engineering now (1st year). One of my modules (thermodynamics) has a muppet for a lecturer. His course/lecture notes are extremely disorganised and and he uses complex and completely different nomenclature than what is accepted as standard in thermodynamics, making the material look like unintelligible gobbledygook. I have shown my lecture notes to five highly qualified private tutors outside uni, who between them have obtained engineering qualifications from the likes of Oxbridge, MIT and Imperial College London, and even they were baffled by my notes and all agreed in unison that the material was too complex for even a third or fourth year engineering undergraduate to comprehend, never mind a first year. What's more, when I looked through past papers (my exam is coming up this week), this lecturer has set questions on topics which are not even covered in the lecture notes!

Several times over the course of the year, I have e-mailed him to try and book an appointment to see him but he never replied to any of them. I got irate and one day just spontaneously turned up outside his room to try and get hold of him. He was inside, so I tried to politely talk to him about my difficulties, but he just said he was busy with research and that I was just wasting his precious time. At that point I was so pissed off I felt like throttling him and letting him know exactly what I thought of him. I couldn't believe his cheek! For God's sake, who did he think funded his precious 'research'? I pay around £9000 a year and the very least I could expect was ten minutes of his time right? The deputy lecturer/organiser for this module, when I went to see him, was not much better (hell, he was some Chinese guy who could not even speak English properly!).

For these reasons listed above, I am going to fail my thermodynamics exam on Wednesday and I am just so angry. I am not alone however, as practically everybody else on my course is in the same situation. So is there anybody I can go to to complain about this shoddy treatment? Perhaps an independent body governing universities? I would really appreciate some advice regarding this shambles.
This is what you have course reps for, and why a lecture course should have official and clearly scheduled office hours. On your own you are just one annoyed student turning up at an office without an appointment, in a class of 200 that carries no weight at all. However, if the whole class complains to the director of undergraduate studies and head of department “officially” via the student reps then that’s rather different. That is your route, but you need to get other students to agree that it’s a general problem, not just you.

PS, if an individual fails an exam, then that’s their problem, if the whole class fails then it’s the lecturers problem and that tends to get noticed higher up.
0
reply
mike23mike
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 4 months ago
#3
Sorry to read about this poor teacher. You should see your programme director and head of year if you have one. The programme director is responsible for the overall 3/4 years of your UG degree so is very senior and influential. If you have a year head, they focus on issues facing a particular year group. Who is your module rep? Raise your concerns with them to then raise with the teaching staff. I fear you have left it too late to influence your exam next week.
0
reply
martin7
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report 4 months ago
#4
(Original post by Anonymous)
Ok so I am in uni studying engineering now (1st year). One of my modules (thermodynamics) has a muppet for a lecturer. His course/lecture notes are extremely disorganised and and he uses complex and completely different nomenclature than what is accepted as standard in thermodynamics, making the material look like unintelligible gobbledygook. I have shown my lecture notes to five highly qualified private tutors outside uni, who between them have obtained engineering qualifications from the likes of Oxbridge, MIT and Imperial College London, and even they were baffled by my notes and all agreed in unison that the material was too complex for even a third or fourth year engineering undergraduate to comprehend, never mind a first year.
Courses aren't designed entirely at the whim of the lecturer. A course specification/syllabus will have been drawn up and considered by more than one person, and a decision will have been reached as to whether it's at an appropriate level, and (for example) whether that's a suitable underlying basis for courses in the 2nd/3rd year.

What's more, when I looked through past papers (my exam is coming up this week), this lecturer has set questions on topics which are not even covered in the lecture notes!
The past papers you've looked at will reflect what was taught in previous years. It's entirely possible that this year's course is covering a more restricted set of topics. If material does come up in the exam that wasn't covered in teaching, you and your fellow students will have legitimate cause to complain.

On the subject of difficulty, your exam paper will almost certainly have been reviewed internally by someone other than the person who set it, as well as by an external examiner (i.e. an academic from another university). If they thought the work was too difficult for first year students, I'm sure they would have raised this.

Several times over the course of the year, I have e-mailed him to try and book an appointment to see him but he never replied to any of them. I got irate and one day just spontaneously turned up outside his room to try and get hold of him.
As Mr Wednesday notes, a lecturer should have defined "office hours", which is the time set aside to deal with students. It's been a long time since I was last a student, but these were always clearly indicated -- and if they weren't I could have asked the department admin staff.

He was inside, so I tried to politely talk to him about my difficulties, but he just said he was busy with research and that I was just wasting his precious time. At that point I was so pissed off I felt like throttling him and letting him know exactly what I thought of him. I couldn't believe his cheek! For God's sake, who did he think funded his precious 'research'?
Probably not your tuition fees. Much academic research is funded through external grants, or other funding allocated specifically for research.

I pay around £9000 a year and the very least I could expect was ten minutes of his time right?
... during the time he had (or should have) set aside for dealing with queries related to teaching. If you'd turned up at that time, he should have been prepared to see you.

The deputy lecturer/organiser for this module, when I went to see him, was not much better (hell, he was some Chinese guy who could not even speak English properly!).

For these reasons listed above, I am going to fail my thermodynamics exam on Wednesday and I am just so angry. I am not alone however, as practically everybody else on my course is in the same situation. So is there anybody I can go to to complain about this shoddy treatment? Perhaps an independent body governing universities? I would really appreciate some advice regarding this shambles.
As others have noted, you should have course reps with whom you raise issues such as this, and they can raise it with your department. If this is an issue that "practically everybody else" on the course is experiencing, then I'm surprised this hasn't happened. You could also have raised this with your personal tutor.

When problems like this arise, they need to be raised at the earliest opportunity. This gives the department time to deal with the issues quickly and mitigate/limit their impact. While you've tried to raise this issues, it sounds like there were better ways you could (should) have used.

As in most areas, there are external regulators for universities. But an external regulator won't deal with a complaint before you've exhausted the university's internal complaints process.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How did your AQA A-level Physics Paper 1 exam go?

Great! Feeling positive (85)
29.72%
It went fairly well (138)
48.25%
It didn't go too well (41)
14.34%
TERRIBLE! (22)
7.69%

Watched Threads

View All