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Archive for the ‘TAs’

Mar09

turnitin is a machine

So I kind of feel silly for asking this, but I’m panicking and my TA is, of course, on strike so I can’t ask him… But will I be penalized for submitting an assignment on Turnitin at 12:00am if is due at 11:59 pm? t’s a second-year history course, so I’m not convinced I’ll be cut any slack, but I really don’t want to be penalized for a single minute, anf apparently any late submissions are marked as “late”, so my TA might not not even notice that it was just a single minute due to frustrating password problems, and even if he does, he might not take it into consideration.

Thanks!

A panicked first year

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hey there,

unfortunately, turnitin has no way of judging how late you were. if something comes in after the deadline, then it’s late – that’s all the program knows. which, yes, is frustrating, but i think i’d be more concerned if turnitin were sophisticated enough to feel human sympathy for lateness. like, first comes sympathy, then comes questioning why it’s servicing humans, then – BAM! robot war.

fortunately, your TA is human. if you missed the deadline by just a minute or something, feel free to e-mail your TA about it and explain what happened. they won’t be able to respond because of the strike, but whenever it ends, they’ll have that explanation there and may be able to cut you some slack.

cheers,

aska

Aug12

Two Toe Rye Al.

With each course that I want to take comes a tutorial. Now I’m reading about them but it’s just not clicking. Are they classes (after the lecture) that further the students understanding of the lecture?

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Every time I send a new question, I think of a new one! So this one is:

I understand that beside courses it says [_L] and [_T]
But under Vic college, I’m looking at a bunch of humanities courses and instead of L and T it says [_S] [_P]

So whats S and P?

Two questions. Same student. Same day. Normally I wouldn’t indulge such a desperate plea for aska’s attention. BUT, your first question is irresistibly basic – yet important, and I actually didn’t know the answer to the second. So, here goes…

“With each course… comes a tutorial.” In my head I read that like a cheesy, white, male voice actor excitedly announcing on an infomercial. Like a tutorial is some sort of bonus if you “enroll within the next 30 minutes!!” I’ve never heard a tutorial sound more exciting! With that attitude, I suspect you will do quite well in school, my dear.

So, what IS a tutorial?? To an upper-year student this question is almost amusingly obvious – but then I realized… I had NO IDEA what they were when I came to U of T. In fact, I think I was scared of them ( “Will I have to speak…. out loud?!”). A great question, asker.

A tutorial can takes many different forms, but is more or less “a class.”

A tutorial intends to supplement the lecture material. It may be a re-iteration of the Prof’s discussion. It may be an in-depth debriefing of required readings. It is always a chance to seek clarification.

A tutorial is facilitated by a T.A. (teaching assistant), who is more often than not a grad student. If you have an undergrad as a T.A. you know that they are either a) a big deal, or b) so far up the Prof’s @#% that you don’t know where one ends and the other begins. In upper years, it’s not uncommon for the Profs themselves to conduct the tutorial.

A tutorial may require passive or active participation. The T.A. might give a mini-lecture while you sit, write, and ask questions. The T.A. might facilitate a dialogue between the students. The T.A. may also administer quizzes. It is really common for students to have to prepare a five-minute presentation or lead a group discussion as well.

A tutorial is smaller than the general class. 15-30 students is the usual range.

A tutorial is almost always 1-hour long.

A tutorial may be enrolled in on ROSI, or be signed up for in the first week of class. Once the Prof announces, “Okay, come to the front and sign up for your tutorial” – your bland, sterile, Sid Smith classroom will transform into a warm summer’s morning on the cobbled streets of Pamplona. Except the bull horn that trails inches from your thoracic vertebra is actually the ballpoint pen of a Polish girl who commutes daily from Mississauga.

A tutorial is usually mandatory. That is to say, they take attendance for 5% of your grade. If no grade is assigned you should still go. That’s right… should. But I’ll leave the guilt trip up to your own superego. Besides the obvious, one benefit of going is that your T.A. will begin to recognize you, and dare I say like you. Don’t tell me that won’t help when they come across your essay at the bottom of a pile of 200. A second plus is that you can meet friends in tutorials. It happens all the time, I swear. A tutorial is just small, conversational and informal enough to lay the foundation for some lasting bondage.

A tutorial is almost never held in the first week of class, especially if the timeslot precedes the lecture (don’t go, no one will be there).

A tutorial may occur weekly, or less frequently. The total tutorial hours are indicated in the Calendar Listing.

E.g. HIS104Y1 -Ten Days That Shook The World [48L, 24T] (pg. 262). The “24T” means that there are 24 tutorial hours across both Fall and Winter terms. This is approximately once per week.

That was THE perfect segue, to answering your next question.

[__S] = Seminar: essentially a hybrid of lecture and tutorial. It will be a smaller class with the expectation that you speak now and then. Like high school. With less melodrama. Probably.

[__P] = Practical, aka laboratory, aka lab. In first year, these are usually held every other week.

P.s. Speaking of Salt and Pepper. Did you hear that all of a sudden salt is healthy for us now?! What’s next, poutine and cigarettes?!?

Feb04

workers of the world, chillax!

Hey Aska

Has the potential strike at U of T been averted? Or what’s going on with that?

Will the 2009-2010 year be affected by this?

To my knowledge, tutorials and labs go hand in hand with the lectures…. and I wouldn’t want my education to suffer and money go drown the drain.

Thanks!

(more…)

Dec19

was that illuminating enough for ya?

Hello Aska!

I was wondering if you could illuminate for me the possibility of the TAs at UoT going on strike, and the potential impact that it would have on my classes. Thank you!
(more…)

May29

I don’t need none of that “he said/she said” business.

My TA is, simply put, hostile. His behavior is similar to bullying in that I cannot prove what he is doing and his condescending tone is discouraging me from participating because he is making me feel as though my participation or thoughts do not matter in the tutorial and that reading the textbook and going to lecture is not enough for him. Tutorial is worth 10% of my mark, and my papers will be marked by this abysmal thing UofT has hired to be a TA. I know UofT loves them, but is there nothing I can do about this? My professor has said that tutorials we choose are permanent but I don’t know if UofT professors grant exceptions regarding this matter to consider speaking to my professor for this particular course. I also do not want to be singled out by the professor or the TA and spend the rest of the year wondering if I will be deducted 70 percentages if my TA were to get hold of my exam paper and recognize from my name that I was the person who switched out of his tutorial. I need to switch tutorials/TAs if I want to do well in this course, but I feel as though (like my TA), my professor/others might think I am simply exaggerating. Any help/advice would be much-appreciated.

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Jan17

Finally, a Question about Dating.

Is there a rule against students and TA’s dating? Not that it’s happening,
but…for future references.

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Nov24

pleading with your TA’s is tough

helpppppp
I really screwed an essay because my family had an emergency the night before….If i tell the TA will they cut me some slack?

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Apr02

how big is UofT and do the t.a.s speak english…

Everyone talks about how big UofT is, does it really feel as big as everyone says? Or once you settle in your ‘nitch’ is everything alright. Also, i heard many students commute, what about the kids left behind? Hmmm… some other questions – is it difficult having a TA teach instead of a professor, can most of the TAs speak english? Thankyou.

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Oct24

I ‘have’ tas

Hey, askastudent, I “have” 4 TAs. One doesn’t speak English (eco). One teaches at Scarborough, and is only down here once every two weeks for labs, and has the office hour 1 hour before the lab is gue (geogr). One is writing his PhD thesis, and travels all over the world to do research, so he’s never here either (histrory). And one doesn’t care at all and said he won’t have time for us (politics).
I won’t bitch. Just let me ask: aren’t they paid to help us????
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Dec03

Tutorial ASSistant

i want my TA, plain and simple. thing is, do you think its a good idea to ask him out now? he won’t be teaching us next semester so that student-teacher relationship is over. we talked a few times, he knows my name but no signals about whether he’s into me or not. if a good, professional TA was into his student, we he give hints as to whether he’s attracted to you or would he keep it to himself? I had my last class with him today so i won’t see him again and i’m sure he won’t be teaching me in the future. If i should ask him out, does e-mail sound ok? thanks
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Sep29

Doogie Howser, TA

i am an undergraduate student, is it possible for me to be a TA? what are the criteria? Thank you! (more…)

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