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  #1  
Old 12 April 2013, 06:18 AM
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Teacher Fifteen-minute late professor policy is a myth

There you are, sitting in a classroom with a few classmates. Class was supposed to start five minutes ago, but the professor hasnít shown up yet. Usually, someone remarks that thereís ten minutes left before everyone can leave. Someone else gets an attendance sheet started. If you sign it, they say, the professor will know everyone was in class, and nobody will be docked for attendance.

http://www.dailyhelmsman.com/fifteen...myth-1.3023507
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  #2  
Old 12 April 2013, 08:45 AM
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ďIf Iím [teaching] an hour and a half class and I show up after 15 minutes [to an empty class], I donít think Iíd be very happy if it were an important day or exam,Ē Nenon said. ďThe expectation is that professors are supposed to be there at the same time as students. Normally, they will find someone to let you know whatís going on [if they are running late].Ē
Yeah, If I pay for a class that starts at 1030, I do kind of expect the professor to be there at 1030. Since, I don't know... I am paying them to be there (indirectly).

And here is a crazy idea... if you teach an hour and a half class and it's an important day or an exam... don't show up late.

Luckily, most of my professors/teachers/instructors have been very good about this.
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  #3  
Old 12 April 2013, 04:35 PM
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These days, most professors (like everyone else) have enough ways to keep in touch that if they're going to be 10 or 15 minutes late to a class they can usually get a message to the department secretary or another professor who'll put a note on the door for them.
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Old 12 April 2013, 08:36 PM
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In my program, professors were not allowed to take attendance in any engineering class. The rationale was that students were able to miss class at any time for any number of legitimate reasons - the most common legitimate reason being that we were in an interview for our work terms, which alternated work terms and school terms. Non-engineering classes didn't have these rules, and when we took other classes as electives, we had to follow those rules.

Back in the 1970's and into the early 80's, Ontario had a 5th year of high school - Grade 13 - which was intended only for students going on to higher education, especially to university. Students would typically be 18 or turning 18 that year. For most of those years, there was an entire school devoted to this Grade 13 program, and the story from students of that era was that the class was cancelled (or attendance would not be taken) if the teacher was more than 10 minutes late. In any case, students were free to leave if that happened - only fair if they are adults.
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  #5  
Old 12 April 2013, 09:32 PM
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I remember being in OAC (Grade 13) English. Now this was a bit different, as we were in a self-paced school so we all had work to do. The teacher didn't show up. Most of us got down to work - a few might have left. We were in one room that was connected to another room by one of those enormous doorways that are almost the whole wall, and the teacher from there came over to ask our teacher a question. He asked us where he was and we shrugged and said he hadn't shown up. Some of the students left at that point. The teacher came back with an attendance sheet and anyone who wasn't there was given an "unexplained absence." Some of them complained vociferously because they had been there five minutes earlier, but they did leave, and the UA stayed.
I don't remember how many people were 18. I was older than that and found attendance a bit of a joke. One of my excuse slips for being late was written on the back of an inter-office memo and when I was called in to explain a few absences
I said, "I don't remember whether my doctor's appointment was the 5th or the 11th..." and she said, "Oh, I'll just erase both then." If the principal had known what the secretaries were doing I think she would have flipped. They liked me and she didn't.
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  #6  
Old 13 April 2013, 01:20 AM
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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.
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  #7  
Old 13 April 2013, 06:22 AM
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At the university where I got my first Bachelor's they would leave a neon pink sign on the door cancelling the class. Unfortunately there were usually at least two doors and they only ever put it on one...and my favourite was me frittering away 3 hours between classes and then going up to the room...cancelled. Anyway you'd hang around for a bit and then if no one showed up you'd go check the other door to see if there was a pink sign on it.
They didn't formally take attendance but as you got into the higher years where the classes were much smaller they usually knew who was there and who wasn't.
I found that attending the very last class before final exams was a good strategy - less than half the class would be there and the prof would drop very broad hints about the exam.
One of my classes was a tape - you would go into a room and at a certain time the secretary would press play and it would be broadcast into all the rooms. You could also go to the library and watch it yourself on a teeny TV. I liked this better, because I could pause it where I wanted to add to our notes. I went every week just like a normal class. The last week I showed up and there was an hour waiting list because people were watching the entire semester in one week. The girl knew me and snuck me into a back room so I could watch the final two - later in the week would have been even crazier. She didn't think I should have to wait because of everyone else's (everyone else there) poor planning when I had been showing up every week like clockwork. I really appreciated that and still remember it. The next term I just finished a week early and spent that week rewriting my notes.
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  #8  
Old 13 April 2013, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nana M View Post
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.
This was the attitude of most of my professors and I can remember one professor ranting about it when 1/3 of the class didn't show up for a lab just before Thanksgiving break.

In four years of college I had one professor for one course who took daily attendance. He also sometimes forgot where he was, at least that's the only reason I could think of for him for starting a sentence with, "Here at big-public-school" when were were actually at a small private college.

I was then, and am still, much more impressed by the ranting professor who seemed a lot more interested in the students actually learning.
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  #9  
Old 13 April 2013, 09:28 AM
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Of the classes I've been taking, attendance is rarely mandatory: some classes have a great deal of class participation as part of the grade or have frequent micro-quizzes, so ditching class is rarely a good idea. Plus, a lot of my professors tend to have stuff in their lectures that isn't necessarily in the book, so missing class means that you're likely to miss something that you'll be tested on.
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  #10  
Old 13 April 2013, 07:51 PM
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We had classes with quizzes and even "problems labs" - where we got a sheet of problems we had to work on during the 2-hour session - but only in first year. The quizzes were very easy, and while the problems lab required everyone to submit answers, we were allowed and even encouraged to collaborate. And you only had to attend 80% of these and still get full credit (i.e. only the best 8 of 10 marks were considered).

These sessions weren't about attendance or even a good measure of learning - it was meant to teach us how to collaborate and to encourage good study habits. Now you'd think that people who were high-achieving high-school graduates wouldn't need this, but the attitude of some students was strange. In residence I had friends studying math or computer science, and their courses had both a weekly quiz, and a weekly assignment. The quiz was, as expected, really easy, so showing up got you most of the grade. The assignment required work, but people collaborated and even freely copied from other people. But some chose to dismiss both the quiz and assignment. Wouldn't even take the time to copy the assignment. Each was worth 10% of the grade, so just to pass the course, they needed to get 50/80 on the two exams. Had they made the effort to get even 80% on the assignment and quiz, then they only need 34/80 to pass the course. No wonder these guys dropped out after 2 years of this. The big surprises for me were that these guys were really high achievers in high school, and just stopped caring about their grades or even passing. University was a big social event and little more. Attendance could have been taken, but it still wouldn't be enough to make them care.
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  #11  
Old 15 April 2013, 02:08 PM
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I remember first day of first year of architecture school. The freshman lab was from 8:00 AM to noon. At 7:55 or so everyone was at their desks. At 8:00 when no professors were present everyone kind of looked around at each other. 8:05, 8:10, then professors started showing up. Next day it was the same thing. Then by the second week we got a clue and started showing up around 8:10. Nothing to do with laziness, as the second year lab started precisely at 1:00 as scheduled. We just learned architects tend to be night owls, and when you're up to 2:00 AM working on a project 8:00 AM comes up pretty quick.
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  #12  
Old 15 April 2013, 02:32 PM
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Not sure if it's just a change of times or where I'm studying, but attendance is taken in each class. It's something that's required by the University. Some professors have attendance points that are tied to it, some call them participation points but all of them are required to report attendance. If you miss too many you can be unenrolled from the class. Most professors also have a grade policy where after you miss so many your letter grade starts to drop. Again, get too low and the university can remove you from the class.

Gibbie
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  #13  
Old 15 April 2013, 02:51 PM
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It's a myth on our campus, as I tell my students. Teachers here do try to be on time, but now and then emergencies arise. In any case, we get word to the students either to wait or to leave, depending on the circumstances.
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  #14  
Old 20 April 2013, 11:33 PM
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I'm in grad school and I've had professors take attendance before for every session (usually once they knew everyone's name they no longer called out names but still checked off who was there). Also classes that had on the syllabus that attendance is mandatory but where they did not take it, at least that I noticed but participation was part of the grade and if you weren't there you obviously weren't participating. I've also had classes in undergrad that had a sign in sheet that went around as proof of attendance, or had a one question quiz in the first 10 minutes of each class.

Usually if a professor doesn't show up, someone will go check their office and if they can't find them, maybe check with the department office for what to do.
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  #15  
Old 24 April 2013, 04:05 PM
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Personally I think there should be some appropriate amount of time where you can leave without reprisal if your instructor isn't showing up and other means of finding out where they are are either not available or fail). For example I had a chemistry lab that was rolled up into one of my chem classes that was, in total, three hours long. Should I be forced to sit there in class those three hours just in case he showed up in the last ten minutes and took role (unlikely but not technically impossible)?

I'm not saying I know how long it should be (I imagine it depends on the length of the class) but if X minutes pass without either your professor showing up or something else giving you some kind of information (like they are running late, please read pages X, Y and Z) than you should be able to leave without any possible repercussion. Honestly the fact that this 'rule' seems so reasonable is no doubt why it's been around for so long.


As to the issue of attendance; personally I think that once you get to college you should be treated as an adult and attendance should be ignored. You can either show up or not and your grade may reflect that decision but you aren't a child anymore and you shouldn't be treated as one. Unfortunately that is not the case for most of the classes I've taken, however in most of those cases I think it was an issue of it being a school policy rather than the teacher just wanting to do so.
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  #16  
Old 24 April 2013, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
As to the issue of attendance; personally I think that once you get to college you should be treated as an adult
/slight hijack

That was one of the reasons I refused to live on campus in a dorm. The rules and restrictions were ridiculous. I was an adult, not a child at summer camp or a prisoner in a cell. Living in a dorm would have given me far less personal freedom than living with my parents.
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  #17  
Old 24 April 2013, 08:03 PM
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It's not a rule, but there are exceptions to the non-rule. There is one college I work with whose Student Handbook contains this statement:

Quote:
If an instructor is not able to meet the class at the scheduled time and prior notice has not been given, the class may leave after ten minutes past the scheduled beginning time.
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  #18  
Old 24 April 2013, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
/slight hijack

That was one of the reasons I refused to live on campus in a dorm. The rules and restrictions were ridiculous. I was an adult, not a child at summer camp or a prisoner in a cell. Living in a dorm would have given me far less personal freedom than living with my parents.
While my Residence Hall* is less restrictive in what's allowed, not to mention better maintained and possessing far better security, than my last apartment despite being of a similar monthly rent.

*It's not a dorm, don't call it a dorm, especially don't call it a dorm within earshot of the Housing director like I did- she'll make sure you don't forget!
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  #19  
Old 24 April 2013, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
/slight hijack

That was one of the reasons I refused to live on campus in a dorm. The rules and restrictions were ridiculous. I was an adult, not a child at summer camp or a prisoner in a cell. Living in a dorm would have given me far less personal freedom than living with my parents.
Must vary from institution to institution, the residence hall at the university my daughter attended had no rules other than the common sense rules you would expect to find in any establishment that provides room and board for hundreds of people. That was one reason that she transferred to a university where she could live at home. Home was way quieter and, oddly, free of party animals .
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Old 25 April 2013, 01:38 PM
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Two days before Thanksgiving break, my sociology professer made it clear that the next day was a regular class day and we were expected to be there, yadda yadda yadda. Next day, we were all there. He wasn't.(There had been a snowstorm and he couldn't get out of his driveway.)
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