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Well, I'm supposed to be doing my supervision questions. The… - Sally's Journal
October 9th, 2004
12:32 pm

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Well, I'm supposed to be doing my supervision questions. The pressure of being a supervisor is so much worse - if you're an undergrad then, well, if you can't do it the odds are no one else can either and it probably won't turn up in the exam. But how am I going to get any respect if I can't answer their damn questions? And how am I ever going to be able to answer their questions if I would rather spod and daydream than try to do them?

Ah well....

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From:lisekit
Date:October 9th, 2004 05:08 am (UTC)
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Rule Number One: if you can't answer a question, then admit it. Do not pretend you can; this will be misleading and nobody will be fooled.
It's OK to say, as a teacher, that you're not sure and you need to check. This can actually reinforce students feelings about themselves ("hey, it's not just me that found it hard!") If you are honest with them, they will respect you. If you bullshit them, they will not.
Chances are, you will in fact know what they want to know anyway!
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From:atreic
Date:October 9th, 2004 05:26 am (UTC)
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That's fine, and I agree, but in Maths they get a sheet with about 10 questions on it. I too get the sheet, a reasonable amount of time before the supervision. I can cope with "Gosh, you've asked me an incredably hard question out of the blue, I need to go away and think about it and will try and answer next week". But I can't cope with "I couldn't do question 4" "No, neither could I". Because if I couldn't do it this week, I won't be able to do it next week either...
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From:atreic
Date:October 9th, 2004 06:48 am (UTC)
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It's very random. Basically, if you were desperate, you'd contact the DoS at your college (I don't have an ex-college, all grads have a college and I'm still a member of Queens') and say you're interested in supervising, and you might get some. I got emailed by my ex-DoS asking if I wanted to supervise, and said yes. You have to be a graduate though.
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From:king_of_wrong
Date:October 10th, 2004 09:21 am (UTC)
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I believe you also get given the answer sheets, as a supervisor... or at least they're available to you from somewhere.
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From:atreic
Date:October 10th, 2004 09:28 am (UTC)
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No, not in Maths. In engineering, yes, (and possibly in other subjects like compsci) but not in maths.
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From:feanelwa
Date:October 9th, 2004 09:05 am (UTC)
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Could you email the other supervisors and ask them how they did it, or email the person who set the questions?
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From:atreic
Date:October 9th, 2004 04:26 pm (UTC)
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Oh yes, I have a list of about 3 people I can ask. But it just strikes me as *really stupid* that they don't keep one central answer and crib sheet like the engineers do. Maybe they think us supervisors need to be kept in practice
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From:feanelwa
Date:October 10th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC)
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Maybe they do, but haven't told you about it...
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From:ilanin
Date:October 9th, 2004 04:16 pm (UTC)
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If you have a large number of questions, you may be able to not set the ones you can't do. I have a suspcion that my Part IA Physics supervisor (who I thought the world of then and still do now) did this with no obvious detrimental effect on my performance.

If you don't, you may have to actually do the questions. This involves Maths, and is thus outside my area of expertise.
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From:bluap
Date:October 14th, 2004 08:38 am (UTC)
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Try emailing the lecturer. They sometimes (though rarely!) have a prepared answer sheet.

Once, Sean spent 2 days trying to solve a Complex Methods question. The combined might of doctors Hinch, Rallison and Proctor were no help. Emailing the lecturer produced the answer (which was easy, but only if you remembered the existence of geometric progressions).

More important than knowing the answer, is knowing the reason the question was asked...
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From:atreic
Date:October 14th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC)
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Yes, I have tried this - I'll wait and see if I get an answer! I tried my DOS first, and although he was happy to chat with individual questions with me, he didn't have anything resembling an answer sheet. I can't wait till I'm supervising Engineers...
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