Recitation Policies

Recitation Information

Section 011

Instructor: Damon C. Roberts Email:
Meeting time: Friday: 10:10-11:00 AM Meeting Location: KOBL 140
Office hours: Mondays and Thursdays: 12-1 PM Office: Ketchum 382

Section 018

Instructor: Damon C. Roberts Email:
Meeting time: Thursday: 10:10-11:00 AM Meeting Location: CLRE 302
Office hours: Mondays and Thursdays: 12-1 PM Office: Ketchum 382

Purpose of a recitation

The purpose of my part in delivering the course for you, as all college courses should be viewed, is not to โ€œlose pointsโ€ or to earn a grade. ๐Ÿ’ฏ ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ Rather, I see our journey this semester as a collaborative effort for you to build knowledge to make you a more effective democratic citizen and for me to work with the instructor of record to give you a very small introduction to a potential career path. We provide you with information we think is relevant for this goal and your job is to learn it.

Recitations meet separately from lecture but are still required. The purpose of a recitation, especially for large classes, is to help you, the student, to have a meeting time separate from lecture that reviews the lecture material and to provide a more in depth conversations. Recitations are a supplement to what you learn in lecture. In the recitation, broadly speaking, we will review and discuss the assigned readings for the class and will clarify any points of confusion from the material covered in the lecture. For this recitation, we will also take a deeper dive into the R code that allows researchers to perform many of these statistical computations we discuss in lecture.

As a student ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐ŸŽ“, your goal for the recitation is to come prepared with questions ๐Ÿ™‹ and, if you have none, to do the work to understand the material. My goal, as the instructor for this recitation ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿซ, is to guide your learning so that you get more in-depth understanding of the material for the class.

For many, this is a required class that you are taking to complete your degree and are not interested in the material ๐Ÿซ . My other goal is to at least introduce and convince you of the complexity of data analysis and the importance of having a basic understanding of the ways in which data analysis is not purely objective ๐Ÿคฏ.

The format of the recitations and the material for the course is determined by the faculty teaching the class. I, however, will do what I can to be flexible to the needs of the students for my recitations to maximize your learning.

Contacting me โœ‰๏ธ

You should feel free to contact me throughout the semester. I encourage you to come to office hours so that I can help answer any questions you have about the course policies, the material covered in the class, any concerns you have, questions about navigating University, offering additional materials if there is a topic you are really interested in, etcetera ๐Ÿ™. You are also welcomed to email me. I am usually responsive to email Monday-Friday from 9 AM โ€“ 5 PM (I may take a day or two, but I will get back to you). Please do note that email is not instantaneous communication; it is not a text message or a DM ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ. Despite my best intentions, I receive too many emails and try to manage a decent work-life balance. This means that you if you have questions for me and send them over email, you should be prepared for a response to take a day or two. In other words, do not send me an email right before an assignment is due or some other deadline.

How to refer to me

I am a PhD Candidate, which means I have not yet received my PhD - but I am in the last stages of the process, so my title is not yet Dr. Roberts. I am the instructor of the recitation, so it is totally appropriate to refer to me as Professor Roberts or Mr. Roberts.

I go back and forth with this, but I am generally comfortable with students referring to me by my first name - with a caveat. Female faculty and faculty of color face a several barriers in academia. One part of this is that students often treat female faculty and faculty of color as if they have less authority and expertise over their respective subject material. These biases manifest in a number of ways. One common way is that students feel more comfortable referring to their non-white male faculty without an acknowledgement of their titles. Feeling comfortable with students being less formal with me is a reflection of my unearned privilege as a white male.

Because I am comfortable with less formal interactions with my students, you should not assume other instructors and faculty are as well. Unless a faculty member explicitly tells you that it is okay to refer to them by their first name, you should only refer to them as Professor LASTNAME. This is a safe option for faculty that may not or may not yet have a PhD where referring to them as Dr. LASTNAME may not be appropriate.

Student hours

Many faculty call these office hours. I prefer to use the term student hours since it is what they really are. Student hours are designated times I (and all faculty and TAโ€™s) set aside each week for students to visit me in my office. I will always be in my office during these designated times, so feel free to stop by. These hours are your chance to ask questions about the course material, about university in general, or just to chat so that we can get to know one another. Many students come to student hours after a test wondering what they need to know to prepare for an exam; however, I encourage you to come with questions before the exam. Student hours are most helpful to students if you have done some studying before coming to my office and having concrete questions about material you are struggling with. When you come in with substantive questions about the course material, I can explain a course concept a different way or help you work through a problem.

Recitation policies


These are an elaboration upon what is covered in the syllabus for the course that Dr. Philips provided. They do not override nor provide complete information about the course. You can think of this as an addendum where I can present information about how my recitation sections will operate.

In the first five minutes of each recitation meeting, I will post a question to the board based on that weekโ€™s material (reading or lecture). You will need to submit an answer to that question in those first five minutes. ๐Ÿ“

The purpose of the questions are for me to gauge everyoneโ€™s progress with the course. ๐Ÿ’ช I do not want my students to fall behind and to slip through the cracks. I want to make sure that if you are struggling, that you are offered opportunities to receive help (should you choose to accept it). These questions will give me a weekly insight into where you are with the material and it gives me a sense of where the group is as a whole. This helps me customize what we focus on in recitation based on the needs of the group.

Submission of these questions each week will also help with taking attendance and participation. This encourages you to come to recitation and to come on time (there is not much benefit if you arrive to our recitation meeting with only 10 minutes left). If you submit a response to a question (even if you get it incorrect), you will receive credit for attendance that week. To receive credit for participation that week, a correct (or almost correct) answer to that weekโ€™s question will give you credit for the participation component.


Per the policies of the course, you are able to not submit a total of three (3) of these weekly questions before you begin to lose points toward your Attendance & Participation grade. The three misses can be for any reason such as arriving late, not attending class, not answering the question, etc. This means you should use these three misses when you absolutely need them.