Saturday, March 02, 2013

Class today

Today in class it was clear that not a single student had done all of the assigned reading and the mid-term exam is next week. I know people tell me if I want the students to do the reading that I have to give a quiz every class. But, that is a lot more work grading for me since the class has 110 students. Should not people in their twenties be mature enough to do the reading on their own without me having to test them on it every week? Is it too much to ask that at least one student, less than 1% of the class, do all the reading for any one class session? I do not know where the habit of not doing any reading for class came from. But, it is the single greatest obstacle to the university becoming a world class institution.


Withywindle said...

The habit comes from America. It is the defining marker of a world-class institution.

J. Otto Pohl said...

People tell me this. But, if it is indeed the case then why are US universities ranked so much higher than African ones in international rankings? Is it just prior reputation? Or are the rankings completely unrelated to anything having to do with student academics?

Leo Tolstoy said...

It is common for less than half my students to have done the reading on any day. It's rare that none of them do the reading, but it happens.

American colleges encourage students to get involved in all sorts of extra-curricular activities. Couple that with the general tendency of young people to have little time management skills, and the result is predictable.

One thing that I find sad at my college is that the college puts together a lecture series for the frosh--three speakers a semester. The talks are usually pretty good, and furthermore they are held at the time of the Cultural Studies courses that all frosh take. So they get out of class so they can go to the lecture. After the last lecture, I asked my class "who went to the lecture," and not a single person raised their hand.