Recently, there was a twitter discussion about whether to compress all teaching into one semester. I suspect this discussion is most relevant to folks at research-oriented institutions, since high teaching loads at teaching-oriented institutions often make it impossible to combine all teaching into one semester. Thinking of tenure track faculty at US & Canadian research-oriented institutions, I know several folks who prefer to do all their teaching in one semester. I do all my teaching in one semester right now, but would prefer that it not be arranged that way. So, I’m curious about how much variation there is in preferences, in actual practices, and in reasons for preferences. I could get all fancy and do this as a google form that would allow for cross-tabs, but I’m not sure I’ll have time to do the analyses. So, here’s the quick-and-dirty approach:
First, let’s ask about what you would prefer to do. (We’ll get to what you actually do below.)
Now on to what you actually do.
If you prefer compressing your teaching for research reasons, what is the primary motivator? (Please only answer this if you indicated that you would prefer to compress your teaching and said that was either for research or for research & teaching.)
I know some people prefer to compress teaching because they think it allows for more focus on students during that semester. I haven’t heard other reasons, though, so don’t know that I could come up with a complete poll on it! The same goes for people who prefer *not* to compress their teaching. I have a couple of reasons for why I would prefer not to have my teaching so compressed, but I think it probably makes more sense for me to save those for a comment or a future post. But I would love to hear what people do, what they prefer, and why in the comments! And I’m also really interested in hearing if your preferences have changed over time (and what factors drove those changes).