Main Entry: 1in·de·pen·dent
1 : not dependent: as a (1) : not subject to control by others : SELF-GOVERNING (2) : not affiliated with a larger controlling unit b (1) : not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent an independent conclusion (2) : not looking to others for one's opinions or for guidance in conduct (3) : not bound by or committed to a political party c (1) : not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood)
I have had several students ask me for one of these each semester. Usually this is because they cannot take my class (either too full, or conflicts with their other classes) Not once has one offered to try to ask the other professor if they could take an independent study in their class.
If Independent studies were in fact "not looking to others, and not requiring others.." then they would not be such a problem. Instead, I get a couple students who occasionally show up with blank stares on their faces.. "Uh...what should I do?" Then if I don't offer them a detailed course plan which requires no extra work (beyond taking the quizzes) they run to their advisors and complain to the provost about me.
I seem to be laboring under a false understanding of the concept. When I took an IS in grad school, I went book in hand to my prof. I asked him if he had time. I said I wanted to read the book and write about it for an IS. He offered several other books I should read before or after. I wrote up a schedule of things I would give him... dates of papers, dates..of readings, etc.. Then I worked around his schedule to meet with him on occasion (usually after handing him written work). Isn't that the normal way an IS is supposed to work?
The DH wants me to make a standard form for IS students so there is no confusion about the requirements. Sigh. So much for Independent.
Did I mention I get $0 for each IS student?