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Discussion Starter #1
I have 1 professor who is driving me nuts and really causing me stress. She does not have a schedule of what assignments/papers/tests are due or when there being given. The class is 100% online and I do not have time to log into the class every day to see if she's posted something new and this is often not possible as we tend to spend half the week out of town at the hospital without internet access. There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to when she posts assignments so I often find out I have a 5 page paper to write in 3 days. Well its not going to get done period! I have an extremely busy schedule and I'm a single mom with 2 special needs kids to boot. I have discussed this with the teacher and explained to her I NEED a syllabus that gives dates on when things will be assigned and when they are due as I usually have to start working on things weeks in advance sometimes if I know were going to be out of town and I need to arrange babysitters when we have tests as they are timed and there is NO WAY I can do 50 questions in 40 minutes with 2 kids demanding my attention and just waiting until there asleep isn't really feasible as the baby wakes to nurse at least every 30 min at night. Anyway, she said she would "think about it". Right now I still have an A in the class despite not turning in a paper worth 100 points because I've managed to get all A's on everything else so I'm still ok but I feel like she's setting me and other students who have to really manage there time to fail. My grades are well above the class average and I want to keep it that way but I can't if she can't get her act together and give us a dang schedule! Is there anything I can do? I'm going nuts here.<br><br>
ugh, I logged in yesterday and there was nothing, apparently right after I logged in she posted a test, I have 4 days to complete this one instead of 6 because we have to go out of town for Dr appts again. Would have been nice to know as week ago we were having a test!
 

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Complain to the administration!<br><br>
I'm an instructor and I'm held to very high standards as to creating a syllabus, responding to students' needs, etc. In fact, I was required to come up with a syllabus and description of the class, including explanation of the way in which grades would be given, prior to the class even beginning. Moreover, student evaluations were taken very seriously (glad mine were good!)<br><br>
I realize that, with an online class, things can be tougher, but please check your student manual orwhatever other information was provided to you when you signed up for the class. It sounds to me as though the instructor isn't doing her job properly.<br><br>
Remember, you are a paying customer! If she doesn't see it that way, then I be the administration of the school/university will!<br>
Good luck and hang in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll see what there is, this is the first time I've had an instructor that didn't give me all the info. I'm worried about her retaliating in some way though. I've only got to survive 6 more weeks with her and at the moment I have an A...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Satori</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7903300"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'll see what there is, this is the first time I've had an instructor that didn't give me all the info. I'm worried about her retaliating in some way though. I've only got to survive 6 more weeks with her and at the moment I have an A...</div>
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You don't have to worry about her retaliating. Seriously. Students have FAR more power in the institution than most realize. Now is the time to start exercising it. Do check your student handbook for the proper procedure - it may involve something like communicating with her again; then with her dept. or division chair; then filing a formal grievance (and I'm sure what she's doing is grievable - I shudder to think what would happen to me if I did not provide my students with a syllabus).<br><br>
This is not something you should have to stress about. Find out how to complain officially, and do it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Satori</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7903300"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'll see what there is, this is the first time I've had an instructor that didn't give me all the info. I'm worried about her retaliating in some way though. I've only got to survive 6 more weeks with her and at the moment I have an A...</div>
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If she were to retaliate, that would be even more ammunition against her.<br><br>
As AmyY, wrote, students have *far* more power than they realize. I know you've got a lot going on in your life and that complaining about an instructor and documenting your grievances takes energy you may not feel like you have. However, you have a legitimate complaint -- one I'm quite certain the department and the administration of the school will take very seriously. The last thing they want is to lose good students and, let's face it, the revenue that online courses bring them.<br><br>
Do check your handbook and make a complaint.
 

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As an instructor myself, I just wanted to add further encouragement to take action. We are required to provide syllabi, and teaching an online course doesn't negate that requirement. It sounds to me like your instructor hasn't, in fact, planned or created the assignments ahead of time and she's just posting them when she has them done. Therefore, you're completely within your rights to complain and file a grievance. That said, I might also try talking to her again. She would probably appreciate having another chance to remedy the situation. She may be just slacking off, but she could also be dealing with personal issues that affect her work. I'm not trying to say that what she's doing is acceptable, no matter what's going on in her life, but it would probably be more pleasant for both of you if you can resolve the situation without involving the administration. If she doesn't respond when you give her a second chance, you'll be able to go to the next higher-ups and complain. And believe me, you do have a lot of power as a student, even though it may not seem like it right now. And you deserve to have this information, and you don't deserve all of this stress. Good luck!
 

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Contact the instructor again and make sure that you keep a copy of that e-mail and any previous ones you've sent if you can.<br><br>
Check your university regulations, but I am *required* to give a syllabus.<br><br>
1) Document for her EXACTLY what's going on - tell her for example that you've now got only 4 days to work on this test, rather than 6; remind her that you're scheduling as far out as you can. Tell her that you don't need the actual content, but that you need a schedule of when tests, papers etc. will be due. Tell her VERY SPECIFICALLY what you expect (how much advanced notice, how often you can log on, etc.)<br><br>
2) If she does not respond to your e-mail within 2 days, contact her department chair. If she responds but doesn't change (i.e. give you a schedule) within a week, go to her department chair.<br><br>
3) If the department chair is not helpful, contact the student ombudsman on campus and enlist their help. Your grade should not suffer because your instructor cannot plan!<br><br>
It sounds to me too like she's teaching this for the first time and doesn't have a schedule yet. But that's inexcusable. She needs to at least have an outline with readings, exams, papers so that students can plan. I will often not give out the actual exam until a week before it's due, but I always post the approximate date of the exam and it's approximate due date so that my students know.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> How frustrating that must be for you! As an online instructor myself, I second what other have said about being required to have a syllabus. (However, it sounds from your initial post that she may have a syllabus but no schedule of assignment due dates, so perhaps technically she is adhering to the institution's policy... just not very well?)<br><br>
I am quite organized myself and make sure students know what is expected at the beginning of the online semester. You DESERVE to know the assignments in advance so you can plan your life and not have to be chained to the computer.<br><br>
BUT...<br><br>
As for whether you have power as a student, well, that depends. Do you know your instructor's status at the institution? Honestly, my experience is that if a faculty member is tenured, there's a lot of lip service done by administration but not much action taken, because there's not much action that can be taken. This may be different if she's an adjunct or serving in another part-time capacity.<br><br>
It sounds like she is teaching this for the first time, so while this doesn't excuse her lack of organization, I would give her the benefit of the doubt. However, <b>DO keep track of all your correspondence</b>, especially if you don't get that A at the end through no fault of your own. Print out all emails, discussions, everything, in case you lose access once the semester is over. Once you have your grade (regardless of what it is), you can decide whether to bring it up to the administration. Honestly, I wouldn't risk any sort of retaliation while the semester is still going on, but that's just me.<br><br>
Have you checked out her ratings on RateMyProfessors.Com? I am always amazed by how seriously administrators and other faculty look at those things. Since these ratings are anonymous, you could post there without fear of retaliation. Other faculty look at it. Administrators look at it. And students look at it, which means that if word gets out that the online course is unorganized, fewer students will sign up for it--and you've saved someone else some grief.<br><br>
Best of luck!
 

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Hey<br><br>
Ive never had this sort of a problem...all my profs are VERY helpful adn respectful of my time commitments, though I did have one lax professor that was flim-flamming with classes and due dates...i just kept on him...emailed like everyday. LOL<br><br>
BUT...go to the department chair...they will normally intervene on your behalf...thats your right as a student in a university.<br><br>
Umm Ibrahim
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LynnS6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7911112"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Contact the instructor again and make sure that you keep a copy of that e-mail and any previous ones you've sent if you can.<br><br>
Check your university regulations, but I am *required* to give a syllabus.<br><br>
1) Document for her EXACTLY what's going on - tell her for example that you've now got only 4 days to work on this test, rather than 6; remind her that you're scheduling as far out as you can. Tell her that you don't need the actual content, but that you need a schedule of when tests, papers etc. will be due. Tell her VERY SPECIFICALLY what you expect (how much advanced notice, how often you can log on, etc.)<br><br>
2) If she does not respond to your e-mail within 2 days, contact her department chair. If she responds but doesn't change (i.e. give you a schedule) within a week, go to her department chair.<br><br>
3) If the department chair is not helpful, contact the student ombudsman on campus and enlist their help. Your grade should not suffer because your instructor cannot plan!<br><br>
It sounds to me too like she's teaching this for the first time and doesn't have a schedule yet. But that's inexcusable. She needs to at least have an outline with readings, exams, papers so that students can plan. I will often not give out the actual exam until a week before it's due, but I always post the approximate date of the exam and it's approximate due date so that my students know.</div>
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I did just email her again asking about it and since one of the mama's found her Syllabus amusing I thought i'd post it for you all to read<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Syllabus Catalog Description<br><br>
The course follows the guidelines of the "Information Competency/Literacy Standards for Higher Education" by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Students will learn how information is organized, how to search for and retrieve information, and how to evaluate information. Students will learn to use traditional reference sources as well as online tools and how to search, not just surf, the Internet. Students will learn the steps required for doing a research paper, including the search strategy, preparation of a bibliography, and how to properly cite the information resources (print and electronic). This course is designed to satisfy the Information Competency/Literacy requirements in many colleges and universities in California and nationwide. Students will also produce a presentation using presentation software. (CSU, AVC)<br><br>
Course Objectives<br><br>
Locate and use general (introductory) information sources<br>
Identify different information formats<br>
Identify the difference between popular and scholarly information<br>
Select and evaluate information sources for quality and value<br>
Use information technology effectively and efficiently including catalogs, databases and the World Wide Web<br>
Develop a properly cited bibliography<br><br>
Textbook<br><br>
The Research Process: Books & Beyond by Myrtle S. Bolner & Gayle A. Poirier<br><br>
The text for this class is required and you will need it in order to successfully make it through the class.<br><br>
Grading<br><br>
You can earn a total 2150 points for this class. The points are earned in the following area:<br><br>
Tutorials 200 points (4 at 50 points each)<br>
Exams 750 points (3 at 250 points each)<br>
Projects 1000 points (Projects 1 & 2: 250 points each, Project 3: 500 points)<br>
Class Participation 200 points<br><br><br>
Grade Range<br>
1935 - 2150 A<br>
1720 - 1934 B<br>
1505 - 1719 C<br>
1290 - 1504 D<br>
0 - 1289 F<br><br>
Attendance<br><br>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>
The electronic system used to manage this course monitors when each student logs into the course. Students who do not log in for two weeks will be dropped from the class.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Thats it! There's not even a mention of that paper I was supposed to write that was worth 100 points. I just looked him up and his title is "Information Competency Librarian / Assistant Professor"
 

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That's not a syllabus. That's a course description. Sounds like your 'net info professor needs to consult his online Merriam Webster dictionary. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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ITA with what everyone else said.<br><br>
On a practical level, I would also appeal to the professor's human side and ask if she could just send you a quick email everytime she posts something online. Remind her of your kids and tell her that you know she's a busy person too and would she please shoot you an email. Also, I had a e-mailing list for my students for the few, rare occasions I needed to email the class. The other students might benefit from this as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lalaland42</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7920403"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">ITA with what everyone else said.<br><br>
On a practical level, I would also appeal to the professor's human side and ask if she could just send you a quick email everytime she posts something online. Remind her of your kids and tell her that you know she's a busy person too and would she please shoot you an email. Also, I had a e-mailing list for my students for the few, rare occasions I needed to email the class. The other students might benefit from this as well.</div>
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This teacher seems clueless, all my other teachers send us emails about everything, reminders for tests, what ever might impact the class. Even the ITV classes do it.
 

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A syllabus is the contract between instructor and student. Your instructor did not give you one. Period! This is inexcusable on her part, and it appears to me that she is unprepared for the course. I agree that you need to be keeping records of all your contacts with this person, and you need to be actively pursuing this through channels. Good luck!
 

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This is unbelievable! She finally got back to me and said she will not be able to create a schedule for this semester and my best bet is just to check the website on Mondays! I still haven't figured out when she posts new material as there doesn't seem to be a firm date in which the next week begins! I will be contacting the dept chair or who ever next week when we get back!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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I agree to complain to the higher ups.<br><br>
I had one instructor that did that sort of thing (live class, though) so I can totally feel your pain. We all complained to her about it all semester and she never really cleaned up her act... at the end of the semester we all wrote SCATHING evaluations and she wasn't asked back the next semester!<br><br>
So, the administration *does* seem to care about this sort of thing... if it ever happened to me again I'd definitely start making noise about it up the chain of command much, much sooner.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Satori</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7980485"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is unbelievable! She finally got back to me and said she will not be able to create a schedule for this semester and my best bet is just to check the website on Mondays! I still haven't figured out when she posts new material as there doesn't seem to be a firm date in which the next week begins! I will be contacting the dept chair or who ever next week when we get back!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:</div>
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Now that's just crazy!!! She should at least be able to give you a sense of when assignments will be due. Since you've given her the chance to address the problem (and she hasn't), I agree you should complain.<br><br>
How much longer do you have to go in the semester?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>huggingmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7981658"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Now that's just crazy!!! She should at least be able to give you a sense of when assignments will be due. Since you've given her the chance to address the problem (and she hasn't), I agree you should complain.<br><br>
How much longer do you have to go in the semester?</div>
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Only 4 weeks but I have a lot of work to do in that time.
 
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