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Comment: Re:Science requires a certain agnosticism (Score 1) 430

by dcollins (#49598973) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

"The only appropriate response is 'Hmmm interesting, let's look into this'."

Sometimes the appropriate response is, "I don't have time for this nonsense". There's always a cost/benefit assessment with one's time about how likely a claimed effect is to be real -- or how important.

Comment: Re:This isn't only happening in America. (Score 2) 353

by dcollins (#49571421) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

Sure, in theory you're right. Schools aren't run by teachers anymore, the power has taken away by PHB administrator management who want to run it like a business. (Just like hospitals aren't run by doctors, etc.) I have a hard time seeing the trend reversing course, however; that's the trajectory of our political economy.

Comment: Re:Should use "Guerrilla Teaching" (Score 4, Informative) 353

by dcollins (#49571397) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

The guy's a temporary adjunct (as most college instructors are nowadays). He probably gets paid about $3000 for all the work all semester for this course. He may not even know 6 other people at the college, never mind have any way of getting them to work for him as proctors. Is all the extra work and re-design worth the $1K left in the semester? Just walking away seems at least arguably better for one's mental health.

Comment: Re:Why even have a class ? (Score 4, Interesting) 353

by dcollins (#49571319) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

I ran into this line in a Wikipedia article last weekend and just stared at it in amazement for a few minutes:

"Others may want a high school diploma to represent primarily a certificate of attendance, so that a student who faithfully attended school but cannot read or write will still get the social benefits of graduation."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-stakes_testing

Comment: Re:Hard to take sides (Score 1) 353

by dcollins (#49571297) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

"Also, at least one of his cheating allegations was investigated and overturned by their university's administration. This sounds mostly like sour grapes."

Nitpick: The Inside Higher Ed article linked above says, "The spokesman said that one cheating allegation referenced by Horwitz has already been investigated and that a **student committee** cleared the student of cheating." So apparently any enforcement is determined by students themselves?

Comment: Re:Hard to take sides (Score 2) 353

by dcollins (#49571247) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

"A competent prof would have taken the most egregious examples and kicked them out of his class"

Generally speaking, that is simply not within a professor's power to enact. At least where I teach, instructors officially have the right to remove a disruptive student from one single class session, but not ever from the course wholesale. Even that one-session right, when I've tried to enact that (a number of years ago), was not actually enforced or recognized by security or supported by administration staff.

Likewise, there's officially a disciplinary panel process, but the school has signaled in the past that they don't want us invoking that.

Comment: Re:Fast track (Score 3, Informative) 353

by dcollins (#49571121) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class

At least where I work, the administration in the past has sent a clear signal that -- while we officially do have such a disciplinary board -- they really don't want anyone invoking those procedures. Partly this is because now students are entitled to legal representation in those proceedings, and the whole process gets overwhelmingly complicated and expensive. The current recommended policy is "get the student to privately agree to a failing mark on that test", because that doesn't trigger the legal representation.

Comment: Re:Poker Night with Pinocchio. (Score 4, Informative) 225

"After investing $1 billion in behavior detection techniques and training since 2007, the Transportation Security Administration has little to show for its efforts, the New York Times stated in a new report. According to the newspaper, critics of the TSA’s attempt to read body language claim there’s no evidence to suggest the agency has been able to link chosen passengers to anything beyond carrying drugs or holding undeclared currency, much less a terrorist attack. In fact, a review of numerous studies seems to suggest that even those trained to look for various tics are no more capable of identifying liars than normal individuals. 'The common-sense notion that liars betray themselves through body language appears to be little more than a cultural fiction,' Maria Hartwig, a psychologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, told the Times."

http://rt.com/usa/tsa-spent-billion-body-language-937/

Comment: Re:A sane supreme court decision? (Score 3, Informative) 406

"they clearly have not actually reviewed the use of the dogs themselves..."

False; this was ruled on by SCOTUS in a 2013 case. They unanimously voted that drug-sniffing dog alerts are inherently trustworthy. A terrible decision, IMO.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-sides-with-drug-sniffing-dog/2013/02/19/1d9f7414-7aac-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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