Amanuel Haile 0

Blacks in Science and Technology (AFST2007)

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Dear Members of the University Judicial Affairs,

This is a petition on the Blacks in Science and Technology (AFST2007) course.

For the Students:

We students hereby stand in opposition to the manner in which Blacks in Science and Technology is taught at the University of Cincinnati. We testify that this course is taught using inappropriate methodology. For instance, rather than instructor-student interaction, the course was almost exclusively presented through YouTube and HBO videos. In addition, while the use of personal technology was forbidden by students according to the syllabus, the instructor was habitually distracted by his own personal devices during class time. Furthermore, three textbooks were required for this course but just one was needed, and it was needed only to complete a single assignment. Many of the course’s assignments consisted of writing papers on scholarly articles provided on BlackBoard. However, while we were required to answer questions in response to the reading, it was unclear how these assignments were evaluated. Within the 15-week semester, the instructor never uploaded grades to BlackBoard or made graded assignments available for pickup or review. When students approached him with questions about their grades, the instructor offered vague answers. We felt uncomfortable approaching him further. Overall, this class failed to address our interests in learning the challenges and accomplishments of blacks in science and technology. This course could be an asset to the University of Cincinnati in that it has the potential to inspire black students to seek STEM professions. As it is currently presented, it is not an asset to the University or the academic experience of students.

By signing this document, we agree that the instructor for this course should attend professional development training focused on modern teaching methods. In addition, we agree that this course should be monitored by a proctor for quality over the next several terms.

For the Faculty:

We faculty, staff and administration support an educational setting of excellence, opportunity and service. Our signature indicates support for student demand that every instructor at the University of Cincinnati uphold his or her responsibilities as a professional educator. All instructors must maintain communication with their students regarding course expectations and methods of student evaluation. The grading policy should be detailed in the syllabus and that policy should be upheld throughout the course. The instructor should be actively involved with the class and should use video sparingly. If the instructor does not incorporate the required books during the course, then the purchase of the textbooks should not be required, as they are merely supplementary material. Instructors should be answer students’ questions regarding grades and/or course material accurately and promptly.

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