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The New Adjunct Numbers: 15 Passwords, 7 Possible Plagiarists, 4 Department Meetings & More

millerBy Melissa Miller, Ed.D., M.Ed.

I was recently writing something that required quantitative analysis. Numbers are not my strong suit. I managed to do well in math classes in school, but it didn’t come easily or naturally to me – I’m more of a word person. My husband is a math person, and I’m a language girl, and this is one of the many ways in which we are well-suited for each other. So, for a new perspective into my daily work life, I started thinking about being a New Adjunct in terms of the numbers:

15 – The number of passwords, logins, and usernames I have to memorize. Oh, who are we kidding? I don’t memorize them – I have them all written down on a handy cheat sheet. This is one of the challenges of teaching at several schools. Everything is fine until I have to update the information with a new password!

7 – The average number of assignments per month I investigate for possible plagiarism. I’m not sure if this is average, but honestly, isn’t even one too many in higher education? It annoys me as a huge time waster!

20 – The average number of

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1 Comment for “The New Adjunct Numbers: 15 Passwords, 7 Possible Plagiarists, 4 Department Meetings & More”

  1. Just a few suggestions —

    Regarding those emailed questions that have answers already covered in class. I have a standard answer to that:

    The answers to these questions were covered in class. If you missed class it is your responsibility to get notes from a classmate. (Note: I cover this in the syllabus.) It’s a good idea for every student to develop contacts with other class members in order to ensure you don’t miss anything when you are unable to attend. (Also stated in the syllabus.)

    College students are adults and they need to take responsibility for their own actions.

    But it can also be helpful to take advantage of a hybrid f2f/online, if that is an option. In that situation (only recently available), I would post my class notes online (while at the same time requiring attendance, with a few grace points for whatever reasons the student had to be absent).

    Explanations for lateness – again, I give grace points that students can use. It’s up to them to decide what excuses are suitable for using those. When those are gone, it’s tough luck. Either way, I don’t have to decide whether their reasons are valid.

    On content questions – yes, these are much more pleasant to deal with, but if you are using a hybrid format, students can pose those in the online classroom and get answers from their fellow students as well as from you. AND that means your answers are available to everyone, not just the student who emailed you. A wonderful potential for sparking discussions and getting students more involved.

    Letters of recommendation – I’m happy to receive these requests also, even long after the class has ended. To save some time I ask students to write up what they think are their best, relevant qualities and how what they have done in your courses provide evidence of that. (This REALLY helps me, as I have a swiss cheese brain when it comes to remembering the details.) Of course I rework the letter in my own words, but the whole experience can be very enlightening, and it’s a great exercise for the student – they are forced to pinpoint exactly why they believe they did to EARN your good opinion of them.

    In short – lots of ways to reduce the burden on yourself while at the same time providing a good experience for students.

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