Office hours: 6 realities

first_imgIn a time-honored academic ritual, professors tell their students at the start of each semester to visit them during regular office hours, whether to seek academic advice or just to say hello.Over the years, office hours, that academic institution established to foster deeper relationships between students and professors, have taken some fresh forms. Along with staffing regular hours, some professors talk with students while walking around campus, and a few invite students to catch up outside the office. Many use Skype to reach students.Yet the reality is that not many students regularly visit offices, though more tend to show up during the weeks of midterms or final exams. So professors may spend much of that scheduled time catching up on emails, writing articles, and preparing for classes.Professors often ask students to email them to book appointments. But in a tech-dominant world, they are increasingly turning to Doodle polls, Google spreadsheets, or sites such as calendy.com or wikispaces.com to book sessions. In September, CS50, the popular introductory course to computer science, began offering virtual office hours, during which teaching fellows chat with students and use software to connect with students’ computers remotely.To understand how the traditional practice works now, the Gazette contacted six professors for their comments on office hours, the institution and the reality.Caetano Hanta-Davis ’18 and Katherine Merseth chat during her office hours. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerKatherine MersethSenior lecturer on education at the Graduate School of EducationWebsite: Katherine MersethOffice: Longfellow 305Office hours arrangement: Sign up via Wikispaces ClassroomAt the heart of the undergraduate experience are relationships with others.“Each week I have somewhere between 10 and 15 students come to office hours. I post them and students sign up. We talk for 20 minutes about the class or about anything that is on their minds.I see office hours as an important method to get to know my students, and that helps me teach better.I suspect students don’t come to office hours because they don’t think they are worthy of the professor’s time, or they have attended an office hour and the faculty member was not very welcoming. They feel like they are imposing.At the heart of the undergraduate experience are relationships with others. Office hours are a way for professor and student to communicate outside of the pressure and sometimes hurried nature of a class. To persuade students to come to office hours, professors can invite students genuinely, and also post their office hours in a way that students can easily sign up. If a student has to call a staff assistant or the professor, that sometimes is too big of a hurdle. I announce in my class several times that I have time to see them, and that I think it is important. Over the last few years I would say that 90 percent of my students have come to see me.”* * *Joe Blitzstein meets with students Caitlyn Dang ’20 and Albert Zeng ’20. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerJoe BlitzsteinProfessor of the practice in statistics and co-director of undergraduate studies at the Department of Statistics. Website: Joe BlitzsteinOffice: Science Center 714Office hours arrangement: No appointment necessary during regularly scheduled hours. Individual meetings are scheduled by appointment via email. Use calendly.com to book several individual meetings.Professors should think carefully about when to schedule office hours, and make sure to be welcoming.“I have two office hours per week, and each hour typically has five to 10 students if I am teaching a large course.Office hours are a good opportunity for faculty and students to discuss the material one-on-one (or in small groups), which can be very informative and interesting for everyone. Conversations often also go beyond the course material into how the ideas are connected to other fields and applicable to the student’s long-term goals.There could be many reasons for students not to come to office hours. For example, they could be at a time the student can’t attend (people tend to have very packed schedules here), or the student may not feel they have questions (they may feel they understand the material, or may be confused about some material but not be sure what to ask), or they may think it’s somewhat intimidating, or they may be getting plenty of help in various other ways.Professors should think carefully about when to schedule office hours, and make sure to be welcoming.”* * *Tomiko Brown-Nagin (right) helps Graduate School of Arts and Sciences student Elizabeth Ross with her thesis proposal. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerTomiko Brown-NaginDaniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, co-director of the Law School’s Program in Law and History, and faculty director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice.Website: Tomiko Brown-NaginOffice: Hauser 310Office hours arrangement: Regular drop-in hours and by appointment via e-mail.Interpersonal interaction in less-formal settings can result in greater understanding of concepts taught in class.“I am not teaching this semester. But when I do, I would say that between three to five students visit my office hours on a regular basis. These students tend to be the ones who already are engaged in class and are doing well.I strongly encourage all of my students to visit during office hours because interpersonal interaction in less-formal settings can result in greater understanding of concepts taught in class. These interactions also can help put students at ease in class and therefore result in more and better classroom engagement. Of course, whether, in fact, office hours are beneficial in such ways depends on the personalities and emotional intelligence of particular students and professors.While I cannot be sure, I would imagine that office hours are underutilized because students find professors intimidating or inaccessible, for fear that they have nothing important to say to professors, and/or because students do not see the value of interacting with professors outside of the classroom.In the weeks just before Constitutional Law exams, probably half the class will visit office hours. In order to increase student use of office hours before the exam period, I have toyed with making them mandatory.”* * *Regan Brady ’21 (left) and Emily Markowitz ’21 drop in to see Greg Mankiw. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerGreg MankiwRobert M. Beren Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics.Website: Greg MankiwOffice: Littauer Center 223Office hours arrangement: Regular drop-in office hours. To schedule a meeting outside those, students should email the professor for an appointment.You don’t need a question to come to office hours. You can just come by to say hello.“The number of students who come to my office hours varies. I would say about a dozen on average, but Ec10 [the introductory economics course] is a large class. A dozen represents only about 2 percent of the class.Office hours offer students a chance to have personal interactions with faculty, to discuss how course material fits with other things they are studying, and to get advice about course options and career paths.Some students don’t come to office hours because they are busy, others because they are intimidated or don’t feel their questions are sufficiently important. I explain to students that you don’t need a question to come to office hours. You can just come by to say hello.”* * *“It makes the school less mysterious if you know both other students and professors,” Annette Gordon-Reed says. File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerAnnette Gordon-ReedCharles Warren Professor of American Legal History, professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.Website: Annette Gordon-ReedOffice: Griswold 405Office hours arrangement: By appointment via email.Professors can be a resource, and students should take advantage of all the resources the University has to offer.“Students tend to come near the end of the semester when they are getting ready for the exam. Visits earlier in the semester are more often about career path questions or other life issues.I tell students to come to talk to me after class and arrange a time to meet if they have things they want to talk about.I try to emphasize that it’s good for students to come to talk to professors, and that they are welcome. I think it makes the school less mysterious if you know both other students and professors. There will be many instances, depending upon what field students go into, when it will be important to have references from people who can speak about a student other than having given them a grade. Professors can be a resource, and students should take advantage of all the resources the University has to offer.”* * *Steven Pinker lists office hours in the syllabus and makes individual appointments. Harvard file photoSteven PinkerJohnstone Family Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology.Website: Steven PinkerOffice: 970 William James HallOffice hours arrangement: By appointment via email. (He is on sabbatical this year.)Office hours matter: to explore ideas in greater depth than what’s possible in a lecture hall; to confirm understanding.“Few students come to office hours — often none, though some years there is a nice group of three to five who come every week.Frankly I don’t understand why more students don’t show up. The hours are listed in the syllabus, and I also make individual appointments with any student who requests one. It’s part of the general attitude in the College that classes are just one part, for many a minor part, of the Harvard experience. Extracurriculars and networking with other students come first.Office hours matter: to explore ideas in greater depth than what’s possible in a lecture hall; to confirm understanding; to look behind the scenes in the generation of knowledge.I wish I knew what professors can do to persuade students to come to office hours! As I mentioned, a change in the College culture in which academics is given greater weight would be a start.”last_img read more

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‘Very difficult for ECB to pick Stokes for Ashes’ – Mark Taylor

first_imgCRICKET Australia (CA) director Mark Taylor has suggested that picking Ben Stokes for the Ashes will be “very difficult” for the ECB after video footage of his alleged brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol emerged.The video, obtained by the Sun, shows a man closely resembling Stokes throwing multiple punches at two men.“I think it’s going to be very difficult for the ECB to send Stokes to Australia,” Taylor told Channel Nine. “Having said that, I’m not going to be too judgmental on Stokes because I don’t know the events of the night.“I have no doubt that there was probably a lot of hassling going on at the time. But I think the video evidence that we’ve all seen is going to make it very difficult for the English side to pick him.”A day after his arrest, Stokes was included in England’s Ashes squad, but was subsequently replaced by fast bowler Steven Finn, although he was not ruled out of the tour completely. The ECB, in its statement, said Stokes will not be considered for national selection until an ongoing police investigation is concluded.“I’ve always thought it takes two to tango but when you’re any person you can’t deal with it that way,” Taylor said. “Particularly when you’re in the public eye, you’re in a no-win situation there.“All you can really do in that situation is get out of there. Remove yourself from the situation. I think that’s what he has to do in the future and that’s what I would be telling him if I were his captain, coach, father, whoever.”Taylor’s comments on Stokes were firmer than those made by Australia captain Steven Smith last week, when he said he could not condone Stokes’ actions, but was careful not to get drawn into a debate over his availability.Taylor also said Stokes’ absence will have a significant impact on England’s team combination for the Ashes. “He does bring something to England that Australia don’t have at the moment, that genuine all-rounder at No. 6,” Taylor said.“I remember him making a hundred in Perth four years ago. I think he showed us then what he can do in this country and in recent times we’ve seen him take some very useful wickets. He’s one of those guys that can change a Test match with the bat or the ball and they are rare characters. “(ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

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“I was going to be in Castilla, but I thought I could play in First”

first_imgDifferences between Spain and Japan: “The Spanish League is much more vertical than the Japanese. There are many more counterattacks in Spain and people live on it. The Japanese League is taking advantage of the Spanish because big players like Iniesta, Villa, Samper … That came it’s very good for Japan because that way people see both leagues more. “Kubo and Okubo: “Always changing from one country or another that is not your native country is very difficult. I know Okubo, who played here in Mallorca, and I had the opportunity to play with him in his last year. He told me that LaLiga is very difficult, but he loved the experience. “Arrival to Spain: “I was very excited to come here, although I did not know what was going to happen. I thought it was fortunate to be at the professional level so soon, at age 18. They came to Japan to tell me about the sports project they had with me. It all depended on me. , but I know that when I grow up I will have more opportunities with them. I have to stand firm and keep growing. “Workouts with Madrid: “At the moment I am doing what I can and continue like this. In training and in the matches, knowing the highest level of world football serves as a reference and hence calculating if one day I can get there. They taught me things that can be useful in the future. “ Take kubo, little by little, he becomes an essential footballer for Vicente Moreno. The last summer, Real Madrid decided that the best alternative for their growth was to leave on loan to Mallorca and the Japanese responds with leadership and talent in the three-quarter area of ​​Son Moix. In an interview for LaLiga, the Japanese footballer talks about his adaptation to the island and his desire to shine in the Santiago Bernabéu Sooner than later. LaLiga tracking in your country: “When I started watching football from other leagues, I started to watch Spanish. At that time I liked David Silva, David Villa, when Valencia was very strong. When I was little, no, because football was not very popular in Japan. as more Japanese come, more League games are seen, even if they are at night, and with the change even more. “ The decision in summer: “In principle I was going to stay in Castilla, but after the preseason I did I thought that I could still play in a First Division team and in the end I got Mallorca.”Arrival to Mallorca: “I had a lot more attention in me than in the other teams. They talked to me about how much they loved me (laughs). I’m getting used to it little by little, although it was hard for me to understand the rules both in the field and outside it. They came with the same game and the rules two years and I was the rookie. It cost me a little, well rather a lot, but with the help of teammates and coaching staff I adapt. I assume what I have to do and I understand what people ask me : make the best game of my life always and in attack help the team marking, giving assistance or making a key play. And in defense do not forget the fundamental concepts we have. “Goal to Villarreal: “Vicente (Moreno) told me that some goal of mine had to appear and it was. I am very happy about that.”Poor baggage of Mallorca as a visitor: “When we go away from home we lack something and the rivals take advantage of that. It is clear: we need a victory and everything will change there.”Real Madrid match: “It was a bit weird because I had shared the preseason with them and upon entering Vinicius greeted me and it was weird at first. Then I got into the game and when it was over I was very happy like the rest of the team.”Where are you better: “My ideal position I think would be that of midpoint, but today not many teams have midpoint, that is, I adapt to the position requested by the coach. Now I am playing in the band and I feel very comfortable.”Qualities as a footballer: “My main characteristic is to receive between the lines and start haggling from there. It is not my weakness, but to score a goal I have to be calmer at the end. But now that I have achieved a goal I think I will be calmer “.Objectives of Mallorca: “Try to save us and then look up.”First steps: “The important thing is how my career ends. I am lucky to have debuted as early in a League as this, I will try to go as far as possible and not regret anything.”Kubo, ambitious: “I would like to play some big game like a Champions League final or a World Cup and if I can win them then too.”last_img read more

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