Just because a student has reached university doesn't necessarily mean that they are bright. In my short time teaching at University, that's been proven to me. I lecture at an internationally reputable university, with what are considered to be well above average students in a computer science department. I just thought it would be interesting to present things from the other side of the glass ... the lecturer's perspective. Some examples:
  • For one third year computer graphics assignment, students were given 3D glasses - little cardboard ones with one red lens and one blue lens. The sidearms could be folded either way. Students were told "red on right, blue on left". I get panic mail from a student pleading for help. "My glasses are the opposite of everyone else's! They're red on left, blue on right!".
  • You gotta worry when you give sample solutions to a past exam paper and in an open book exam the students copy the solution word for word from the past exam paper for a completely different question.
  • Programming by random mutation. You try to help someone write a computer program for an assignment. They change a line that has nothing to do with the bug they're trying to fix. You ask them why, they say, "I don't know!" You watch a little longer and you find that they just pick a line at random, change it, recompile and pray that it works.
  • In an electronically submitted programming assignment, a student submitted a solution that was done by someone else. Normally, this would be hard to prove ... except that the student left the other person's name in the comments for the program.
  • Reading someone's assignment, you sometimes come across statements like:
    // God, my tutor is an idiot! He told me that this solution
    // I had to the problem was wrong ... but I've proved him
    // wrong. 
    
    ... thinking that either (a) their tutor isn't going to come across the comment or (b) the assignments will be marked by someone else. And their "solution" is broken to boot.

So, if lecturers suck, it's not only the lecturers that suck.

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