May 27, 2019, 05:53:42 AM
Forum Rules: Read This Before Posting


Topic: Asking Profs Questions  (Read 9105 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lemonoman

  • Atmospheric
  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 607
  • Mole Snacks: +71/-8
  • Gender: Male
Asking Profs Questions
« on: September 28, 2006, 11:22:01 PM »
Quote from: mike
Well one undergraduate student with one 5 minutes question may seem to be not much hassle, but what about the other 200/400/600 students? Lets say you had 300 first year students and each one only wanted , say 3 minutes of your time, that is 15 hours of contact!! Not to mention other students, staff, research, eating sleeping, life LOL, cut your teachers some slack!!

I couldn't find another post talking about this, and I'm curious to see everybody else's opinion.

At my university, it's exactly the opposite....professors are appalled at how FEW of us ask for 1-on-1 help.  One of our organic professors told us, after showing us the results of the last midterm (class average, 45%), that only 1 person had asked them a question outside of class.  He said he asked the other professors about us (the bunch of people who started university in 2003) and apparently all the profs notice that we don't ask questions.

I'm always told never to fear asking questions outside of class...by the profs themselves :P

Offline mike

  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1246
  • Mole Snacks: +121/-35
  • Gender: Male
Re: Asking Profs Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2006, 12:53:52 AM »
We have now employed professional tutors for our first year students. We have found this works extremely well, with many students prefering to get ono-on-one help with a tutor rather than their academic. Ironically the tutors are basically the same level as academic staff i.e. PhD's with research and teaching experience.
There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.

Offline Dan

  • Retired Staff
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4716
  • Mole Snacks: +467/-72
  • Gender: Male
  • Organic Chemist
    • My research
Re: Asking Profs Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2006, 03:30:10 AM »
Almost all the tutors I've had at uni have been very helpful. We used to have tutorials in pairs every week, and we asked silly questions now and then. I never got the impression that my tutors had somewhere else they'd rather be or be doing - tutorials regularly ran over the standard one hour.
My research: Google Scholar and Researchgate

Offline Mitch

  • General Chemist
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5266
  • Mole Snacks: +375/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • "I bring you peace." -Mr. Burns
    • Chemistry Blog
Re: Asking Profs Questions
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2006, 01:17:02 PM »
If they are afraid, they can always ask their questions on chemical forums. ;)
Most Common Suggestions I Make on the Forums.
1. Start by writing a balanced chemical equation.
2. Don't confuse thermodynamic stability with chemical reactivity.
3. Forum Supports LaTex

Offline sdekivit

  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 403
  • Mole Snacks: +32/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • B.Sc Biomedical Sciences, Utrecht University
Re: Asking Profs Questions
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2006, 01:52:31 PM »
At Utrecht University, most of the time you can ask questions to the professor during the break between lectures or there is a 'question hour' scheduled where everyone can mail his/her questions to the professor and he will discuss these during this hour. Also during that hour questions can be asked directly.

And otherwise you can always mail him/her.

Offline buckminsterfullerene

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 95
  • Mole Snacks: +8/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • 3.14159265358 9793238462643 3832795028841 97169399
    • Myspace
Re: Asking Profs Questions
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2006, 07:52:08 PM »
From a person giving a presentation about Stanford (in high school... will be attending quite a few of those), she mentioned that professors actually want to meet with people but they never come forth.  So professors in Stanford have small competitions of Hai Ku, and Poetry writting where the prize is to come in the professors golf cart to class with the professor.  Well i though this as weird, but I am interning in a nanotechnology lab at Florida International Univ, and have an assignment where i have to ask an engineer teacher a few questions, as an introduction to an engineer for my Dual Enrollment Engineering course.  Well I asked the secretary of the lead professor (he had just left) and director of AMERI (Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute), and she said off course, he would actually like it, hinting at that very few people come up to ask him questions and he likes to talk. 

So perhaps they are not too bad after all... all this about professors not having enough time to talk to students may in some cases be true, but in most cases the students just do not have the integrity of going up and asking a question.  I can't wait to set up the interview, it will be so interesting.
currently a student attending high school in South Florida, capital of all the hurricanes that come through the US, and the sunshine state.  My interests falls into electrochemistry going to renewable resources of energy, i like hydrogen fuel cells and solar energy

Offline english

  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 535
  • Mole Snacks: +31/-10
  • Gender: Male
  • grad student
Re: Asking Profs Questions
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2006, 03:21:39 PM »
I always ask my physical chemistry professor anything, even questions regarding physics!  I'm going to be doing research with him for the next year and a half, so it's good to build a nice student-professor relationship.

Offline Ψ×Ψ

  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 263
  • Mole Snacks: +8/-4
  • ooh, shiny!
    • carbon-based curiosities
Re: Asking Profs Questions
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2006, 09:19:24 PM »
I've found that a lot of profs respond better to questions when they sound more "I'm trying to make sense of this" than "I want an A in your class."  Last-minute-confusion-before-exam questions are usually received the worst.
I always ask my physical chemistry professor anything, even questions regarding physics! I'm going to be doing research with him for the next year and a half, so it's good to build a nice student-professor relationship.
Same thing here, except with organic!  He responded really nicely to random curiosity, so I was an office-hours stalker for most of the semester (less than ten people in the class, so it didn't matter) and...now I'm working for him. :)

Sponsored Links