November 12, 2009

Notes and noteworthy

Posted in Helpful Hints, student stories, teaching revelations tagged , , at 10:46 pm by profart

When I was in college, which really wasn’t that long ago, and you missed a class, you provided your excuse to the professor- and then went and got notes from your classmates. Going and asking the professor for their notes was not done. At the time, I didn’t know why- it was just not done.

Now I have the answer.

You see, a professor’s lecture is under copyright. It is propriety to them. Taking the notes of a professor for a missed lecture is like going over to Bill Gates and asking him to provide you the full code of the current Windows operating system, and all the business memos included with it. Or asking for the full and correct formula for Coke.

It is also basically asking a professor to take notes during their own lecture.

Some professors actually write out the whole lecture, and it works like an article they have written or any other work they have done. Other professors write notes, and are talking extemp. Included in either of those notes are notes on the notes, information that may or may not be actually offered in a lecture, notes about questions that may or may not be asked. Things may be crossed out, updated, notated, and even in code. They are not in a state intended to hand out to the public.

So here’s a hint to folks prepping to miss a class: get a buddy. Ask that buddy for a copy of their notes.

Or come to class.

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