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The Relationship between Seminar Instructors and Course Participants

Graduate classes and seminars offer an opportunity for constructive interaction between graduate students and instructors (faculty). We view graduate coursework as a valuable occasion for a mutual exchange and learning.

Goals

  • Free expression of ideas
  • Mutual dialogue regarding course expectations and objectives
  • Equal opportunity for learning
  • Responsible behavior toward completing course objectives
  • Objective evaluation of performance

Norms

  • Instructors should:
    • discuss the objectives and expectations they have regarding the course
    • provide a course syllabus at the start of the semester
    • clearly specify all course assignments
    • provide reading assignments at least a week before they are due
    • hold class sessions at their normally scheduled times
    • develop specific goals for each class
    • be prepared to lead discussions
    • return assignments in a timely manner that enables students to take advantage of feedback during the remainder of the course
    • return final assignments before the beginning of the next semester
    • make themselves available outside of the classroom for help and assistance
    • provide all advisees with the same opportunity to learn -- additional materials or assistance provided to some should not be denied to others
    • - provide and be willing to receive explicit and constructive feedback
  • Advisees should:
    • discuss the objectives and expectations they have regarding the course
    • attend and be prepared to contribute to all class discussions
    • complete all assignments on time
    • take responsibility for seeking additional help when needed
    • provide and be willing to receive explicit and constructive feedback

Situations that May Signal a Problem

  • Participants being personally attacked for the expression of their ideas
  • Participants engaging in behaviors (e.g., yelling, belittling, intimidating, etc.) that discourage others from participating in discussions
  • Participants taking advantage of personal relationships to unfairly influence course related outcomes
  • Instructors requiring students to make-up canceled class sessions outside of the normally scheduled time period