Tuesday, April 14, 2009

About American Universities

Last year, I met Professor Mónica Dominguez Mulholland through one of my blogs for language teachers. Since she teaches Spanish at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, I thought it would be a good idea to carry out a short exchange with her class to learn a bit more about university life in the USA.

In the TOEFL iBT we have listening and short readings related to different campus situations and we've discussed some of the differences with our system as well. Let's take this opportunity to exchange information with the protagonists! The discussion has already started in Spanish on their blog: Spanish is Fun - Proyecto Internacional, so let's move on to English now.

Here goes the first question to get started:
In my case, it is related to the faculty (professors). How are office hours assigned? Do they depend on the number of courses each professor has? Are these hours also offered online? In Argentina, professors do not have office hours as a part of their daily work schedule. According to the material we've read and listened to, office hours seem to be a great idea since students can discuss their questions in depth and professors can address the specific needs of individual students. Do students take advantage of this extra time?

I look forward to your answers ... and to more questions, of course!

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  6. In addition to teaching students in my Online TOEFL Course at http://onlinetoeflcourse.com, I also teach for the English Department at California State University San Bernardino. Indeed, we are required to hold office hours for our students. At our school, the number of office hours we should have is in direct proportion to the number of classes we teach plus one hour. For example, I teach four composition classes this quarter, so I am required to have five office hours each week for my students.

    "Do students take advantage of the weekly office hours that I have available to them?" you ask. Unfortunately, 90% of the students do not take advantage of those hours, so I use the time for grading and answering e-mails from students.

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