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« Explaining the phenomenology of skilled performance | Main | Why "anonymized" review isn't, and what to do about it »

07/18/2015

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Anon grad 1

Since everyone else is shy, I'll volunteer something.

What we do well:
(1) We have a pretty friendly atmosphere,
(2) Supervisors encourage students to develop their own interests and projects rather than turning them into clones of themselves and their interests,
(3) The funding situation has generally been quite good, and
(4) There are now lots of teaching opportunities for students in addition to the usual slew of TAships.


What we don't do particularly well:

(i) Professionalization. Most students don't come out of the program with a good idea of which journals do what or are any good, which programs do what and whether they're research or teaching oriented, how to go about publishing, there's no guidance with respect to conferences, etc.
(ii) There's very little in the way of feedback on our work (even course work!), and virtually no help or guidance with getting our first publications (nor is there much encouragement to do so!). A couple faculty members are very good with their students in this respect, but the bulk aren't.
(iii) There's virtually no feedback on our progression through the program.
(iv) General organization. Important forms are impossible to find (even our DGS doesn't always know where they are!), the progression requirements are hidden in the depths of a cave somewhere, and until recently the placement record hadn't been updated in about a decade.

The most important of these problems concerns feedback on our work. Unfortunately, we don't know how to fix it (having tried a number of things which have failed), and there's not much of a culture of students commenting on each others' work to act as a safety net (there are three of us who do, out of thirty students).

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