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-   -   Fifteen-minute late professor policy is a myth (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=85057)

Mickey Blue 26 April 2013 02:25 AM

Yea as for dorms mine was pretty free aside from, as you say, common sense rules (like how much noise you can make particularly at night or during exams), common area rules, etc. You could even drink in them if you were of age, though you had to keep the door shut.

I think the freshman dorm may have had a few more rules but even they weren't too bad.

crocoduck_hunter 26 April 2013 07:46 AM

My school isn't big enough to have res halls devoted to specific classes- the closest it gets is that you can, if you sign up for a room, request that it be designated a 21+ room so you won't be sharing the room with anyone younger.

Weehawk 12 May 2013 11:19 PM

I went to a large university in Texas. They were supposed to take roll the first several class sessions because the official policy was to automatically drop anyone from the class that did not show the first week or two (don't remember the exact number). Some teachers weren't even diligent about that. In any case, after that no one cared if you showed up or not.

If the teacher didn't show up, the unwritten rule was that, as a courtesy, we would wait 10 minutes for a grad student, 15 for a professor, before leaving.

Mimi 07 June 2013 07:55 AM

I am attending Western Illinois University. It was recently (sometime in the last few years) made a rule that all professors must take attendance for every class period. Students are allowed to have three unexcused absences before it impacts their grade. I *think* it has something to do with federal or state funding, but I'm not sure.

fitz1980 07 June 2013 02:03 PM

When I was in college several classes were required by the departments to take attendance & usually there was a rule that if you missed X number of classes it would negatively impact your grade. It seemed most common in arts based classes. I majored in film so I took quite a few.

I think part of that was rooted in the belief that many students (who take arts classes as an elective, rather than part of their major) that arts based classes are BS courses that they should be able to sleepwalk through. Unlike their "real classes" such as math and science. Department heads don't really like their life's work being trivialized like that, so they make such policies.

TudorGothicSerpent 21 June 2013 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fitz1980 (Post 1742582)
When I was in college several classes were required by the departments to take attendance & usually there was a rule that if you missed X number of classes it would negatively impact your grade. It seemed most common in arts based classes. I majored in film so I took quite a few.

I think part of that was rooted in the belief that many students (who take arts classes as an elective, rather than part of their major) that arts based classes are BS courses that they should be able to sleepwalk through. Unlike their "real classes" such as math and science. Department heads don't really like their life's work being trivialized like that, so they make such policies.

In my experience in undergrad., classes that didn't take attendance were generally the exception rather than the rule. Every math course I've attended in college (calc. I, calc. II, and statistics) had a requirement that students show up on time, as did business classes. Science classes often didn't, except in the labs, but that was because they tended to be enormous lectures with 50-100 students (even at the 3000 level, probably because my school was relatively small and didn't have too many teachers to spare).

As far as teachers allowing you to be 15 minutes late without it counting against you, I think some did and some didn't. There was no university-wide policy on attendance, so obviously there was no university-wide policy allowing you to miss if the instructor was more than 15 minutes late. I would imagine that's why this one is a myth.

Also, a side note on the dorm discussion, our dorm rules weren't horribly restrictive, but some of them were bizarre. We were barred, in the housing contract, from elevator surfing, and from bringing motorcycles into the building (this was at Appalachian State University, and it is seriously there; I learned that after reading through the contract).

Elkhound 17 January 2014 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TudorGothicSerpent (Post 1746436)
Also, a side note on the dorm discussion, our dorm rules weren't horribly restrictive, but some of them were bizarre. We were barred, in the housing contract, from elevator surfing, and from bringing motorcycles into the building (this was at Appalachian State University, and it is seriously there; I learned that after reading through the contract).

Probably put in because at some point some idiot did both those things.

Ellestar 17 January 2014 04:54 PM

For me, a professor, coming to class on time is necessary to show respect to the students in my classes. If I was ever scared of being late (once when my alternator went kaput on the way to school), I call someone in the department to let them know. Luckily, with the car issue, I was coming in to office hours, so they were able to replace my alternator and I was able to make it to class on time. But you better believe I was on the phone to the departmental coordinator about the possibility of being late/cancelling class.

I don't know how long my students would wait for me if I was late to class. I certainly wouldn't penalize them for leaving if I showed up late.

I always take attendance in my classes. I use attendance as extra credit. Students do not get marked as present if they are more than 15 minutes late to class. I use it to encourage students to come to class. They're adults and don't have to come, but most benefit from hearing the lecture and discussion as well. Also, if a student drops or fails the class, my university requires us to state the last date they attended.

In my grad classes, I also take attendance and it IS a part of their final grade because in topics I cover, we need to go beyond the readings into critical discussion of the readings so that I can be sure that higher learning is actually taking place. Students also benefit from hearing the lived experiences from their fellow classmates, I find.

violetbon 01 February 2014 07:15 PM

I don't see why it should matter if it is a college student, grad assist
ant, or PHD instructor. Telling time is taught in 2nd grade. There are consequences for being late. If you are a student, it's missing part of class. If you're an instructor, it's having your students leave.

mobocracy 24 February 2014 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nana M (Post 1728786)
I have a doctoral degree and never, not in any class at the University level, was attendance taken. The attitude was that it was up to you to take advantage of the instruction offered or, conversely, to fail a course. If a professor didn't show up, most of us would head to the library to work on essays or projects and someone would leave a note on the board. It didn't happen often, but it did happen.

I don't have a doctoral degree, only a lowly BA from a huge state University, but in the late 1980s I can't remember a class that had any kind of attendance.

A fair number were held in large, theater-size lecture halls where attendance would have taken more time than the class was allotted. Some small group settings like labs or Tuesday-and-Thursday small sessions with TAs might have been awkward if you hadn't been regularly attending, I seem to recall there were some physics labs that spanned multiple days.

I think the people running the classes figured that absenteeism was its own punishment -- missed class notes, missed clues on assignments, etc, plus I doubt any of them wanted to waste time on attendance. It's kind of a burdensome bureaucratic task.

I always figured just showing up was the easiest part of the whole experience. The only time it wasn't was a class on ancient Indian art a long way from my dorm at 8 AM one very cold winter.

Latiam 25 February 2014 01:32 AM

No one really formally took attendance in my classes. As I said as you got higher the profs started to be able to keep track.
A few times the TA didn't show up to their sessions and someone would circulate a sheet that we would all sign to keep track of who was there to give to them the next week. This happened in several different classes and I have no idea why. You weren't required to be at the TA sessions.
For one sociology course (or maybe psychology course, I forget) the TA had a lazy eye (I didn't know which one to look at) and an extremely heavy accent - so heavy that he would say "Do you understand what I am saying?" and it would be 10 seconds before you would say yes because you were still working it out.
He also used extremely odd abbreviations on the board. So you would also have to spend time figuring those out.
Didn't know which eye to make eye contact with, hard to understand listening, hard to understand in writing...
Yeah, I went to two sessions and never came back. Still got an A in the course though.

Lainie 25 February 2014 01:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Latiam (Post 1804580)
A few times the TA didn't show up to their sessions and someone would circulate a sheet that we would all sign to keep track of who was there to give to them the next week. This happened in several different classes and I have no idea why. You weren't required to be at the TA sessions.

No, but the TA was, right? Maybe the list was to impress upon the TA how many people were inconvenienced when s/he didn't show.

Latiam 25 February 2014 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1804582)
No, but the TA was, right? Maybe the list was to impress upon the TA how many people were inconvenienced when s/he didn't show.

I don't know. It seemed a little pointless to me. They all seemed to be, "S/he should know who was here." Nowadays I would say what I was thinking, which was, "Why?"
They weren't paid for sessions they didn't hold (there was a survey at the end of the year about how many lectures and TA sessions were missed, so if they didn't report it they would get in crap), so it was inconvenient, yeah, but not life-altering.

mela681 25 February 2014 03:16 PM

I can't think of any class where I had a teacher not show up. I had a few who cancelled class often, but none who just didn't show up. The first time I was in school, they would cancel class by putting a note on the door (which was really annoying when I had stayed on campus for a 6:30pm class*). The second time I was in school**,they sent e-mails.

Both times I was in school, they took attendance. They said that it was a requirement for getting federal funding. It was also a significant part of the grade in several of my hard science classes. In, at least, one class, it was impossible to get an A if you missed more than two class lectures.

*Why, oh why do they schedule business classes that late? (I actually do know the answer to this one, but it would have been nice if they had scheduled at least one session of these courses during the day. It's nice that they scheduled them for people who had day jobs, but some of us had night jobs.)
**I got my first degree in 2005, I started on my second in 2012, there was a huge technology shift at that university over that time period.

Hero_Mike 25 February 2014 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1804582)
No, but the TA was, right? Maybe the list was to impress upon the TA how many people were inconvenienced when s/he didn't show.

Maybe not the TA, but the professor teaching the class. That professor is, for all intents and purposes, the TA's "supervisor" when it comes to their employment. TAs are paid for their work, and I imagine that unless it was explicitly changed, they were expected to show up for that session. When I was a TA myself, we had our obligations for tutorial sessions, labs, and for some, "office hours" where they were available to students. But TAs were only part-time employees and our hours and obligations were, however, limited. Most professors emphasized to students that they should not pester TAs outside of their scheduled hours, and that if they needed more help, they should approach the prof - an actual full-time employee.

Being a TA and not showing up for a session or lab, however, would get us in big trouble with the prof teaching the class.

Maque 28 February 2014 08:34 AM

Our rule was always the general 15 minute rule. Most of my professors never seemed to mind if we left after 15 minutes. Barring the exception I'm about to talk about, only had it happen once, and it was because it was icy and our professor had broken his leg on his way to class so he had no real time to warn us.

And then there was one of my beginning Telecom professors. It was an 8AM class, so no one wanted to be there, but I took it because it was the only one that fit my schedule. Prof on the first day was a huge stickler for the rules. "If you miss two classes you will fail. If I show up and you are not here, you are counted absent." Etc. So second class, I show up on time. 8:15, people are murmuring, TA awkwardly stands up and notes he guesses the professor can't be there that day, and starts showing us a documentary the professor had set up just in case.

Same thing the next class. The class after that, the professor does the class as a Skype call while still in his pajamas, and decides to just leave in the middle of it. Then he didn't show up again the next class. At which point I wanted to drop the course, but if I did I was no longer technically a full time student, so I just bit the bullet and went to talk to the Dean.

Basically what I got was that the guy was tenured and so there wasn't much the Dean could do, but that he'd pull some strings so the bad grade I was going to get as a result of no longer going wouldn't really affect my scholarship. But at that point, the professor obviously didn't respect his class at all, so I didn't see why I should respect it in turn because I wasn't learning anything. Fin. Then I found five dollars.

jgaldnik 22 March 2016 09:37 PM

Usually professors are on time. If not, they better explain why I just paid 1,500 for their class and they don't show up. Plus, why would you want to miss class when you are paying a shitload of money as it is?

tentonaraft 24 April 2016 05:17 PM

At my college, it's kind of a rule of thumb that if the prof isn't there in 15 minutes, you could leave. Also, this past semester, I showed up a few minutes early, no one was there, not even the prof. Took me till 10 minutes after the class was supposed to start until I realized no one was coming. When I got back to my apartment, I checked my email and saw that class had not only been canceled, but that the email telling me was from a couple days earlier. :duh:

Haldurson 27 April 2016 02:08 PM

When I was at Caltech, not only was attendance never taken, but people frequently skipped early morning classes. Furthermore, some people would send tape recorders in to class in their absence (the movie "Real Genius" has a scene that makes fun of this - skip to around 3:15).

Generally speaking, if the professor wasn't going to show up, he'd arrange for a TA to teach the class . Things were so casual there, that I can remember one TA who did his entire lecture on roller skates, skating from whiteboard to whiteboard, doing this elaborate proof, then drawing this long arrow from the leftmost to the rightmost panel, while rolling across the classroom, finished the arrow, and wrote in "Q.E.D.".

ejmeier 19 July 2016 01:19 PM

The colleges that I went to never had an official (or unofficial rule as far as I know) about how long to stay if a professor doesn't show. However, I suppose that if the professor didn't show after 15 or 20 minutes, many or most of the students would leave. I never really had that problem though, except for maybe once a professor was maybe close to 10 minutes late. Most of the time the professor knew before hand if he or she wasn't going to make it for class and would either email us or tell us the class before that the next class was cancelled.
I don't think this rule would be needed as much with the availability of technology nowadays. Most people have a smart phone with them all the time and easy access to email. So unless it was an absolute last minute emergency, most professors I think could email or call someone to inform the students the class was cancelled or going to start late.
And as far as professors taking attendance. Most of the professors that I had never really had an attendance policy. They probably thought of you didn't show, you were an adult, and you would accept the consequences of of not showing up to class. In a few classes, the professor would take attendance for a few extra credit points. It usually wasn't many points at one time, but she did it enough times, the points added up.
I did have three or four professors actually have a policy that if a student missed x number of days, the student would automatically fail or would suffer a decrease in a letter grade. It was many professors that did it though.


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