Friday, 6 April 2012

4 ways to get away doing almost nothing and 4 ways to prevent it (part 2)

3. Having only hours before the seminar:
This is more like it. With a few hours we have plenty of wiggle room. Not enough time to actually do the required work, but probably more time than most students will

How to get away with it: You will not have time to read all of the literature, nor all of the jurisprudence, but you can get pretty far. Try to answer the questions by looking up the relevant paragraphs in the literature and scanning for useful information. Answer the simple questions first since you can probably get away with insufficient answers for the difficult ones.

How to prevent it: Asking questions about the material that is not required to answer the questions. Also, checking students’ knowledge about the jurisprudence is a handy indicator because that takes the most time to study while giving the least amount of details.

4. Having only days before the seminar:
Finally we have the time to do all of the work. Wait, you do not want to do it? Why are you even a university student then? But okay, if you really do not want to do the work…

How to get away with it: with a few more days to prepare, you can start to delegate. Make sure you have some mail addresses of students who do prepare and mail them for their answers. It is preferred if you ask them just to share the answer to one question in the guise of ‘I did not understand this one, could you help me?’. If this all fails, please fall back to one of the previous methods.

How to prevent it: this is incredibly difficult without some work on the professor’s side. One course solved this by requiring all students to hand in a copy of their work at the beginning of the class. This way copies and non-doers could be caught.

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