Monday, May 14, 2007

The one thing I learned from ProSem...

Several professors in the Instructional Technology department seem to have it out for me. But that's OK. I don't take it personally. They don't even really know who I am. You see, I work for the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning, or COSL. The feeling in my department is that people who work at COSL are arrogant and don't follow the rules. So I have tried to be extra nice to overcome this stigma, but so far no one has really noticed.

Two of the five papers I turned in for a class called ProSem did not meet the expected length requirements, and one of them was admittedly a poor effort. But rather than conclude that my papers were simply too short or just plain lousy, it was blamed it on my "COSL arrogance." I believe this is referred to as the halo effect, "a cognitive bias whereby the perception of a particular trait is influenced by the perception of the former traits in a sequence of interpretations." (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

So I got a C+ in the course. I'm sure I'm not the first person who had something come up and ended up having to turn in a paper that wasn't my best effort. After checking with several department people I finally figured out that the minimum grade for coursework within the school of Graduate Studies is a C. So I'm OK. But it sounds like some of the professors in my department feel I need a tougher consequence, and they are pushing for me to have to retake the last ProSem course. I am willing to take my C+ and move on, but unfortunately I seem to have become the scapegoat for those who dislike COSL. So this is a plea to the folks who have halo effect problems or COSL-envy issues: Please leave me alone. I'm just a guy who is trying to earn a degree and who happens to work at a place called COSL. Honestly, if there is one thing I learned in ProSem it is which professors I need to stay away from.

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