Friday, May 12, 2006

Look in the mirror, prof 

We cultivate students' unmerited pride with high praise for mediocre work. And we tolerate all of the other sins by abdicating responsibility for the culture of our classrooms. Again and again, I have heard students say their classes are so easy that almost no effort is required, even for top grades. Residential student life, at many institutions, is mostly free time to explore and indulge one's vices. And we professors -- too busy chasing our ambitions -- avoid maintaining standards because they are time-consuming and costly to our teaching evaluations.
From Thomas Benton. He reviews the seven sins of faculty who cultivate same students. I had a note from one today who worries for his grade. We put many of the homeworks online -- I stare at a screen to grade essays they submit by form email -- and one feature of the software is that we can see when they are on. The class is taught at night, and never was the young man on the site except the day of the class. Do you reward that behavior?