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The tag is supposed to be for questions about the job of lecturer, a specific academic job title that exists in some parts of the world.

However, users keep applying this tag to questions about lecturing, in the sense of "continuous exposition by the teacher."

What can we do to clarify the use of this tag?

We could create another tag that is about "continuous exposition by the teacher," but I don't know how to name the tags so that the distinction will be clear to taggers.

  • Maybe use "adjunct" and/or "instructor" instead? // Also, the exposition idea could be expressed with "lecturing" instead of "lecture". – aparente001 Nov 22 '15 at 4:09
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    @aparente001 The role of lecturer is a specific job title that is distinct from both of those words you suggested. – ff524 Nov 22 '15 at 4:11
  • Based on experiences with the "music" tag on SE computer sites (to deal with music specific sound as separate from "audio"), the best thing that can be done is let more people know about this distinction and have more people who are vigilant about protecting it. – Michael Scott Cuthbert Nov 28 '15 at 23:35
  • @aparente001 In the UK, the position of "lecturer" is essentially what would be called an "assistant professor" in the US. Using alternative names doesn't make sense. – David Richerby Nov 29 '15 at 20:30
  • @DavidRicherby - perhaps the ambiguity could be cleared up somewhat by using a prefix or suffix. How about replacing "lecturer" with "UK-lecturer"? In the fine print it could be explained that here, "UK" includes those countries that use the word "lecturer" in the same way that it is used in the UK. – aparente001 Nov 29 '15 at 23:44
  • @aparente001 That would be a bad idea if any other country uses "lecturer" in that way or if any non-English-speaking country uses a term whose most natural translation would be "lecturer". People would imagine that the tag only applies to the UK. – David Richerby Nov 30 '15 at 0:04
  • @DavidRicherby - I suppose so, if they can't or won't read the fine print.... – aparente001 Nov 30 '15 at 0:19
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Some ideas that come to mind:

  • Replace the second sentence of the tag-wiki excerpt with:

    Do not use this tag for questions about lecturing.

  • Install a tag warning.

  • Remove all wrong uses of the tag and regularly monitor it for new mistagged questions, hoping to better exemplify the usage of this tag. I have did this for some time with and had the feeling that the number of new mistagged questions was reduced (but I have no solid numbers on this). However, I guess that this effect was only due to people seeing this tag less often on the front page.

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    I think we should also add a "lecturing" tag, – jakebeal Nov 22 '15 at 13:05
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    … and synonymise it to teaching. – Wrzlprmft Nov 22 '15 at 13:06
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    I think it might be better to not synonymise, thereby allowing the tag to point to one particular high-importance aspect of teaching. – jakebeal Nov 22 '15 at 13:07
  • @jakebeal I named it lecture-teaching-method instead, to make its intended use extra-clear. – ff524 Jan 1 '16 at 3:15
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In my view, it would be better to include a "lecturing" tag as suggested by @jakebeal.

As discussed, this would be different from the sense of the tag in the sense that it covers only the classroom lecturing aspect, while the description of the tag states

This tag is related to the role and duties of a teacher, an academic instructor, tutor or a teaching assistant.

Although the description of a "lecturing" tag may be a subset of the tag, it would have a more specific aspect rather than a synonym.

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The lecturer tag is supposed to be for questions about the job of lecturer, a specific academic job title that exists in some parts of the world.

Does it even make sense to have a tag for a specific job title when the meaning of the job title varies from country to country? I suggest that renaming the tag to would give it a more cohesive identity (i.e. one which is more likely to interpreted uniformly by people from different academic cultures) as well as removing the ambiguity.

  • Except that a lecturer is not Junior position in the UK.... – Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩 Dec 5 '15 at 14:15
  • @BrianTompsett-汤莱恩, that's my point! The current tag means different things to people from different cultures, so it's not a useful tag. – Peter Taylor Dec 5 '15 at 14:29
  • I think it is useful to have specific tags about job titles that do have a specific meaning in parts of the world that use that title. lecturer is not ambiguous to people in systems where that's a job title, just as assistant-professor is not ambiguous to people in the US. On the other hand, junior-faculty is not a clearly defined job title and is ambiguous (look at the current state of early-career to see what I mean by this...) – ff524 Jan 1 '16 at 2:55
  • @ff524, where the term is unambiguous I agree. The problem here is that lecturer unambiguously means one thing to one subset of the site's users, and unambiguously means something different to a different subset, so that for the community as a whole it is ambiguous. – Peter Taylor Jan 1 '16 at 13:03

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