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09/07/2022

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Michel

I've never taught graduate students, and am very unlikely to ever have the chance to do so. But years ago, I came across Jerry Green's innovation of 'tracks', and I think it's a _very_ good idea.

Green posted his idea somewhere on one of the blogs (I thought it was DN or this one, but I can't find the post now). The basic idea is to have different kinds of assessment depending on whether the graduate student is aiming for an AOS or an AOC in the subject of the course, or is just taking it to fill out an area requirement (there's also a separate track for UGs taking a graduate course). (Here's an example of how he did it: )

More generally, I think that graduate courses should aim, in part, to professionalize and socialize students into the subfield in question, familiarizing them with its structure, journals, etc., as well as doing so more generally by familiarizing them with the kind of work we actually do, such as creating syllabi, presenting short essays, commenting, writing book reviews, etc.

There's a limit to how much of that you can do, of course, but I think that some is better than the mostly none that's on offer in most graduate courses, which in my experience were pretty much just a standard UG course with harder content, a seminar presentation, and a single term paper. And tracks, I think, can go a long way towards addressing that (and reducing graduate resentment about distribution requirements!).

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