If you’re starting an online class, check to make sure your professor is alive

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One of those problems you don't run into in non-virtual situations. Or do you...

If you’re starting an online class, check to make sure your professor is alive
Three weeks into his online class on art history, Concordia University sophomore Aaron Ansuini had a question about one of the recorded lectures. He combed through Concordia’s portal, but couldn’t find his professor’s contact information. So he Googled his name — François-Marc Gagnon — and found an obituary.

At first, Ansuini thought it might be a coincidence. “I was like ‘That’s weird, he has the same name,’” he told The Verge. But further Googling revealed a more disturbing truth. In March 2019, over a year prior to the start of Ansuini’s course, Gagnon had passed away.
 

Veritable Quandry

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/me takes my pulse....

Good here.

On a serious note, my University explicitly states that instructors own their own course content. My recorded classes can not be reused without my explicit permission. This is not the case at most Universities and especially not Community Colleges, where course materials are treated as work for hire.

I feel that students do need living instructors, especially in online courses. It is difficult to connect with students in this context, and when they do reach out they should get the person who has been the face of the class, not a random grader they have never knowingly interacted with.
 
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Noodles

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/me takes my pulse....

Good here.

On a serious note, my University explicitly states that instructors own their own course content. My recorded classes can not be reused without my explicit permission. This is not the case at most Universities and especially not Community Colleges, where course materials are treated as work for hire.

I feel that students do need living instructors, especially in online courses. It is difficult to connect with students in this context, and when they do reach out they should get the person who has been the face of the class, not a random grader they have never knowingly interacted with.
That's what TAs are for.

Just rerun the same course for eternity and have a TA handle the face to face.

Except that TA could be in a call center in India, and the school could totally save money.

(PS I don't actually think this is a good idea).
 

Khamon

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My advisor enrolled me in a Junior level Nineteenth Century European Art class, that was taught for Fine Arts majors, during my very first semester of college (university). I flunked the first test miserably then met with the instructor. He was furious. But drop/add was over so he gave me a list of books to read and told me to do the best I could. Learned a lot, actually, but couldn't relate it well enough to all of art throughout history like the majors could. He passed me because I attended class, took notes, read the books, and did the best I could with it.

Back OT, that's some fine automation duplicating class material to new sections without any human intervention. Both colleges that I work for absolutely require interaction between students and between the students and instructors. Course material is supplied for some survey type classes and instructor driven in others. But all classes are required to contain certain types of assignments that involve students and instructors responding to each other. We're also supposed to comment on assignments and grades and answer questions within twenty-four hours. Teaching online becomes individualized on-demand learning if it's handled correctly. Great for students; a bit more work for teachers.

edit: spelling
 
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Soen Eber

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In the article, there actually was another teacher assigned and placed on the syllabus, but the student must have forgotten that. I suppose they imagined "well, if the dead teacher had written the text and prepaired handouts then the new teacher can use those and there'd be no problem, so why not the vid?".
 

Jolene Benoir

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Jesus 'effin ..... I saw this post and sent a link to my sister. My niece is attending school at Boulder University and they apparently are only having online classes, as most are. This is what I got from my *now fully integrated into Trumpism* sister. I wasn't having it. We have been speaking politely since right around Christmas, but not much more than, "How are you. Fine, thanks for asking."

Me: Saw this and thought about *niece's name*
Concordia is here in St. Paul.
https://www.theverge.com/22262230/online-college-class-covid-professor-dead
The same could happen in large classes in person where all you do is watch a professor speak on video.

Her: It's all bullshit! We are getting fucked. We paid for an education, and a college and were just getting fucked. But oh fucking well. That's what we call life right. Maybe now our daughter will get a free education now that our jobs have been taken away by this wonderful man called Biden.

Me: Well, hopefully by, say, the middle or end of the year they will be opening back up as more people are vaccinated. I saw Walgreens is starting to have it now. That dead professor thing could have happened in normal times, too. I guess they can just keep using their lectures

Her: This is all bullshit! Our daughter worked her ass off to get into a really good college "on the fucking honors program " and we worked our fucking asses off six and seven days a fucking week to provide for our family, and all to have them mother fuckers shit it all down and take it all away from us? Fuck this shit! I knew Biden was a fucking lying cheating fucking bastard and same with that fucking whore with him. Just want to thank everyone for their support! Do you happen to know anybody who can pay my bills now?

Me: Oh, please. You already weren't working. Same goes for schools having online classes.I don't want to hear it. I'm quite happy with him, so far.

Her: What? Are you fucking kidding me?

Me: No, I am not kidding

Her: You are fucking brain washed!

Me: It's nice to have an adult in the room. Qualified people. Not some crazy ass megalomaniac intent upon destroying this country.

Her: Lmao! Fuck you

Me: Backatcha! The man is a menace and you are brainwashed.He's the most dangerous person to EVER hold the presidency. Not that he ever did the job. He was too busy hating on everyone and grifting money. I like having people who actually know their business in charge and are not hateful assholes

Her: No. Trump was the best President we've ever had! He is a good man! He is a real man! You are stupid!
I have nothing more to say to you. Sit there and support a man who killed our jobs our way of life, our ability to put food on the table! FUCK YOU! Fucking Bitch! Go fuck yourself!

Me: You've lost your damn mind. He is the WORST president we ever have had.

Her: No you have. Fuck you!

Me: Again, backatcha. Did you just call me a bitch? Oh, fuck you. You don't know the first thing about politics. All you are is fucking brainwashed. Killed our jobs, lol., our way of life. Two weeks in office and you make such claims. You don't know a goddamn thing. Maybe if you had paid the slightest bit of attention to politics before you became one of the brainwashed you would understand it better.

Me: I mention about a dead professor which AGAIN, could have happened in a live class and you go off on a rampage about Biden. You're fucking nuts.

Me: You're now probably a fucking traitor too who supports insurrection and coups.

More: Her: Listen to yourself , you are the one that is brainwashed and stupid. I always thought you were smart. What a fucking joke. You didn't answer my question, do you happen to know anybody that can pay my bills now? How bout my daughter college? How bout food for my family? No! No you fucking don't!

Me: You already weren't working and haven't been for so long. Two weeks in office and you are claiming that he has something to do with that? I've been paying attention all of my life. Keep calling me stupid and see how it goes.

Her: We are done.

Me: If you understood the first thing about government and our democracy you wouldn't feel this way
That's right, we are.

I dunno why, but it cut off the conversation.
 
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Veritable Quandry

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I do totally get that if you have a good set of videos from an expert in the field who is also a good lecturer (the two don't always go together) that you want to use them. If they have the rights to the footage, editing it into a supplemental resource for the class would be a good idea. But recycling an entire course is just a way to use low paid adjuncts instead of hiring a new tenure track position.

eta: I took a lot of Art History as both an undergrad and in grad school alongside my major in History. And it was obvious which instructors felt they didn't need to update their materials as research changed the field, especially since the senior faculty when I was an undergrad in the early 90s would have taken their last history courses in the late 50s. Even historical fields change with new research and a more diverse set of researchers.
 
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It seems to me the whole point of going to college is to be able to interact with knowledgeable people. Then there's that paper degree of course. If I wanted pre recorded videos they are available elsewhere for much less money.
 

Soen Eber

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*cough*
When registering for the class, he’d received no indication that Gagnon was teaching posthumously. The syllabus named a different professor as the official instructor, but stated that Gagnon would deliver the lectures — an arrangement not uncommon for Concordia classes. All email communication had come, unsigned, from a “do-not-reply” address. For the first three weeks, Ansuini had assumed those emails were from Gagnon.
The do-not-reply address may be because assignments are assigned through a bot (schools have been turning to "all-in-one" automated systems recently) and you had to pester the instructor or check the syllabus for the preferred contact method (perhaps a discussion board). It's also almost a given the instructor would also have office hours (the live instructor, not the dead one).
 
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Isabeau

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Jesus 'effin ..... I saw this post and sent a link to my sister. My niece is attending school at Boulder University and they apparently are only having online classes, as most are. This is what I got from my *now fully integrated into Trumpism* sister. I wasn't having it. We have been speaking politely since right around Christmas, but not much more than, "How are you. Fine, thanks for asking."


I dunno why, but it cut off the conversation.
This particular Concordia is in Montreal (uni i attended!) so you can tell your sister Biden doesn’t have anything to do with it, it’s the commies up north.

Although I’m pretty sure it could happen elsewhere.

No offense, but I think your sister was probably already having issues before Trump. I wonder how many already vulnerable people he (and FOX news, gop, etc.) pushed over the edge during these last few years. Who talks like that to someone they care about or respect? It’s as if everything has been pushed aside (incl their own family and values) except Trump. There isn’t any room for any other line of thought.

Anyway, obviously I don’t know the details about her or your relationship, but I can appreciate how difficult it must be for you. How do you cut ties (give up) on a member of your family when they obviously need help, while still keeping your own sanity/well being?

Come here and vent each time you need to. I mean that. It’s important for the steam to escape before bursting. :grouphug:
 

Jopsy Pendragon

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It is ongoing and getting even worse.
Thank you. I sometimes take my own sibling for granted... I'm gonna call my sis tonight and thank her for being sane... unlike practically every damned nutjob we graduated high school with.

So many of my friends have unbelievably insane siblings that I'm starting to think that 'Goblin Changlings' are actually a real thing. I swear sometimes it feels like the Jerry Springer show is just 'baseline normal' for most Americans. Nothing short of an overwhelming extraterrestrial threat seems likely to unify humans at this point.

And even then, half of us would still go running into their slavering razor-sharp toothed maws screaming "SUCK IT LIBTARDS!"

... but at least that would solve one problem.
 

Jolene Benoir

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This particular Concordia is in Montreal (uni i attended!) so you can tell your sister Biden doesn’t have anything to do with it, it’s the commies up north.

Although I’m pretty sure it could happen elsewhere.

No offense, but I think your sister was probably already having issues before Trump. I wonder how many already vulnerable people he (and FOX news, gop, etc.) pushed over the edge during these last few years. Who talks like that to someone they care about or respect? It’s as if everything has been pushed aside (incl their own family and values) except Trump. There isn’t any room for any other line of thought.

Anyway, obviously I don’t know the details about her or your relationship, but I can appreciate how difficult it must be for you. How do you cut ties (give up) on a member of your family when they obviously need help, while still keeping your own sanity/well being?

Come here and vent each time you need to. I mean that. It’s important for the steam to escape before bursting. :grouphug:
Thank you so much, Isabeau. Yeah, it only got worse from there. She has always been a loving person, believe it or not. I don't recognize her anymore and thank you for letting me vent. I guess I am just one of millions of people who are at odds with a member of their family. It is just sad and I don't see it really becoming "fixed". It seems that so many of us have insurmountable differences.

Thank you. I sometimes take my own sibling for granted... I'm gonna call my sis tonight and thank her for being sane... unlike practically every damned nutjob we graduated high school with.

So many of my friends have unbelievably insane siblings that I'm starting to think that 'Goblin Changlings' are actually a real thing. I swear sometimes it feels like the Jerry Springer show is just 'baseline normal' for most Americans. Nothing short of an overwhelming extraterrestrial threat seems likely to unify humans at this point.

And even then, half of us would still go running into their slavering razor-sharp toothed maws screaming "SUCK IT LIBTARDS!"

... but at least that would solve one problem.
Thank you, Jopsy. I'm glad that my story could help bring you closer to your sibling or rather, remind you of how much you love one another. That is sweet to hear.

On a new front with my sister, as I said the conversation went even worse. I said twice that we needed a break and that this wasn't good for either of us and I really should have walked away, but every time I heard the ding, I looked. Eventually it ended with her telling me that I am dead to her, not to go to her deathbed or funeral, that the break I wanted is going to be forever.

I did walk away then. About an hour later she sent me a text telling me that she had just received her test results back and that she tested positive for Covid. She has COPD, so in addition to the normal worries of a positive covid test, there is that.

Fixed response to Isabeau that was embedded in her post.
 
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bubblesort

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These milennials are so entitled! A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, we used to walk up hill both ways, through blizzards, to see our force ghost accounting professors, and that's the way we liked it!