Dale Young, Ph.D.
My responsibilities as a teacher include:
· motivating students to think about and integrate all course topics,
· scanning the literature for contemporary issues that are outside the text,
· organizing the course materials (e.g., syllabus, text, handouts, exercises),
· using teaching methods that make the course concepts interesting and challenging,
· being fair in the way I assess student performance, and
· remaining flexible to the needs of each student.
I believe it is important for students to take ownership or responsibility for learning. One way they take ownership is by moving beyond learning the factual content of the class to integration of course topics (e.g., being able to see how common themes cut across an entire body of knowledge).
I need to stay current regarding technologies and the management issues relating to those technologies because MIS is such an applied discipline. Reviewing journals and meeting with practitioners are two ways to stay current. Research and publishing on contemporary MIS topics is another way to stay current in the field.
Students expect me to know the course material well, but to not “know everything.” I should admit to areas where I lack information and do the research required to find the information requested by students.
A well-organized course follows the pattern laid out in the syllabus. Frequent changes and an inability to keep pace with the initial schedule will frustrate students. I am organized when I show up for class on time, plan out the course and each day’s activities, and keep office hours.
My courses are interesting when I am excited about the subject matter. I stay interested myself when I try new methods, introduce new topics, and believe in the importance of the subject matter. I am responsible for students seeing the relevance of the course material. (I assist them in understanding relevance by providing contextual links and showing how the course “fits together” and why it matters in the outside world). I make the course challenging by the types of projects I assign, by the form of question I ask on exams (i.e., memory recall as opposed to application and integration questions), and by the way I interact with students during class discussions. Learning new methods of teaching requires me to participate in seminars, conferences, and workshops. I can get stale in presentation skills just as quickly as I can become dated in my knowledge of course subject matter.
My classes should reflect the concerns and major initiatives of the university and the division. Critical areas are the communication skills of students (both speaking and writing), ethical business practice, and diversity.
“Fairness in grading” means I make grading policies absolutely clear on the syllabus and on the handout that describes each project. I am unfair when I take excessive amounts of time to return projects and exams. I should offer comments on student’s work that are both encouraging and instructive. Instructive comments tell the student how to improve their work. Assignments that allow multiple versions and revisions give me an opportunity to make instructive comments. Fairness encompasses workloads – students take courses other than mine. A class can be challenging and stimulating without making excessive work demands. I do not use a set distribution of grades (i.e., a fixed number of each letter grade).
I must be sensitive
to how concerns about gender, race, national origin, age, martial status,
religious beliefs, and physical disabilities affect my students. I should be
aware of how diversity applies to the field of information systems.
I try to accommodate students when changes or extensions are requested. I make these accommodations in a way that is fair to all other students in the class. I want to be sensitive without giving one person an unfair advantage.
Students should show up for each class period, be prepared to discuss the day’s materials, exercise care in the preparation of assignments, avoid whining and complaining, and be honest in their dealings with both faculty and fellow students.
Students should treat each other with respect. They should carry their own weight on group projects (student evaluation of other group members as part of an assignment’s grade encourages equal participation).
Students should provide feedback to faculty that contributes to the improvement of the faculty member. Evaluations should not be vulgar or attack the personal characteristics (e.g., race, gender) of faculty.
Students should treat university property with respect. Students who damage copiers, computer equipment, library books, and furniture raise the cost of education for all other students and make it difficult for fellow students to complete assignments in a timely manner.
Students are responsible for their own personal lives. They must understand that substance abuse, poor time management, and other forms of undisciplined behavior jeopardize their position at the university.