Archive for the ‘course-administration’ Category

You need one post per article this week too

Monday, March 5th, 2012

There’s only one lecture this week but two articles for it. Make sure you have a post per article.

teaching in a socially networked world

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

A Ryerson University student may be expelled for, if you read many of the news articles, merely hosting an online study group.

The following exemplifies some of the crappy reporting on the subject, that this is about new (and scary) technology, that the old people just don’t understand:

Supporters of Chris Avenir, 18, broke out into applause following a faculty appeal committee hearing Tuesday where the computer engineering student defended himself against allegations he facilitated a study group on Facebook that amounted to cheating.

In what has sparked a debate over what constitutes collaboration versus cheating in cyberspace, Avenir was sent a notice of expulsion after a professor came across a group called Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions.

The group, which has subsequently been shut down, had 147 members from Ryerson’s first-year chemistry and computer engineering programs.

Avenir, who was listed as an administrator of the group, is facing one charge of academic misconduct and 146 charges of enabling, which means “helping others do the same,” according to Ryerson University spokesperson Janet Mowat.

“Facebook is a new realm and it is one the university is seeking to seize without any regard for the specific circumstances,” said John Adair.

“The online group was simply a forum for students to go to for help understanding the class lectures,” said Nora Loreto. “For him to be facing expulsion when there is no evidence linking him to anything on that site that even comes close to academic misconduct is outrageous.”

Not until almost the last paragraph does the reporter get to the meat of the university’s argument.

Avenir had received a B in the course but it was changed to an F after the professor discovered the site. The professor had stipulated students work independently on the assigned test problems. [emphasis added]

The reporter wants a sensational story involving emergent technology instead of reporting about what could just as easily happen without technology.

The Globe and Mail article, and this, from another report, is better:

What appears to have snared Avenir was the group’s main page, which read: “If you request to join, please use the forms to discuss/post solutions to the chemistry assignments. Please input your solutions if they are not already posted.”

A professor, who had stipulated assignments be done independently, discovered the group, gave the B student an F, then charged him with academic misconduct.

This begs the question, is a facebook host responsible for moderating the content of his/her list? More importantly for us academics, with these new technologies, can a professor assign take-home test problems anymore?

Welcome ENVR 650

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

This Fall I welcome the graduate students of Environment 650: The Environmental Seminar Course. They’ll be posting their impressions of seminars they attend, the progress on their graduate research, and other hot environmental topics that come to their attention.

new look for blog

Sunday, June 26th, 2005

We’re updating the blog at the moment. Watch for new features such as blogging bios.

Spam escalated

Monday, February 21st, 2005

The spam has accelerated in the past day. And it has reached a level of sophisticaton that the spam prevention aspects of wordpress cannot easy detect it. Therefore we have to moderate the comments. So be patient with us if your comments do not appear immediately.


Sunday, February 6th, 2005

Our blog is getting hit with a lot of comment spam. I’ve added words to the spam file, which should catch more of the illegitimate comments. Comments with spam words get put into the moderation queue. If you do not see your comment appear immediately then it’s likely in the moderation queue, to be approved or disapproved by me. I don’t look at the queue that often so these comments make take awhile to appear (sorry, Garry, one of your comments got caught).

The latest spam attack attached itself to every single post. It took awhile to delete. If I see a lot more spam then I’ll need to moderate all the comments.

In the meantime, authors, feel free to delete the spam when you see it.

Course still in Physics building

Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

The course will remain in the Physics building today, Jan. 11. Starting Thursday, we’ll move to the 1st floor conference room in the MSE building, 3534 University. For orientation purposes, the MSE building is almost behind the Physics building.

Welcome message

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Hello and welcome to ENVR 480 of the McGill University School of Environment.

Course Introduction

Innovations in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have fundamentally transformed the scope and characteristics of environmental problems. Adoption of ICT contributes to significant changes in social interactions, business practices and economic growth, all shifts that affect the environment. ICT also impacts the methods used to analyse environmental processes and problems. Whether the overall effects are positive or negative (or both), they are not well understood. Understanding the relationship among ICT and the environment will become key to moving towards a sustainable society.

Prof. Sieber