Donnerstag, 6. November 2008

Teaching for (no) fun

One of the nice parts about working at university is doing teaching. In my past experience teaching always was very rewarding, so I volunteered to tutor an undergrad course on the Hodgkin-Huxley cell model. I felt it would be a nice opportunity to drop out of the daily sitting-in-front-of-the-computer-the-entire-day routine, And as a side effect, it would revive my knowledge on Hodgkin-Huxley models.

Well, it got me out of my routine, but it wasn't all sunshine. Granted, some students actually were highly motivated, and the course reports they turned in were carefully prepared. It was fun tutoring them. But others just didn't care. Some of their reports stated the name of last year's tutor - suggesting that they didn't even care to change that during copy-and-paste.

Not that I care about plagiarized reports - I think a student at an university should be smart enough to figure out that they cut their own flesh when plagiarizing reports. But they also cheat on those who actually put some effort. And that's unfair. And it leaves a bad feeling for me as a teacher who volunteers out of idealism. Spoiled my fun somehow.