Wednesday, October 18, 2006

frustrated with students

While some of my students are doing well, several are doing what they perceive as the minimum to get by. I say it is their perception because I disgree--their work has not met the minimum requirements, and I have not given them credit. Here's the kicker--instead of just sucking it up and taking their grade because they know they are slacking, they are arguing with me. Ordinarily I would suspect a miscommunication on my part--perhaps I had not been clear in the assignment--but I have double checked my instructions and I have stated explicitly and repeatedly what is expected of them. So why are they insisting that they should get credit for doing nothing? They are mad at me, but I am being clear and consistent in my grading.

Once again, this is a downside to the online class. My week has been full of dealing with the people who do not want to get their work done but want to argue with me about why they should get credit for it. Meanwhile I don't get to really interact with the students who are doing well because the slackers have me tied up. And they are not very nice.

I also had a complaint recently from a student who insisted that the peer review apparatus we are using is unfair because the students in the class (as he generalizes his feelings to include his classmates) do not have a clear understanding of what constitutes a good technical document. He revealed the next day that he does not have a textbook. Perhaps the two problems are related?

Today being a teacher is not fun.

1 comment:

Lab Cat said...

I once realized that I spent 80% of my time with less than 20% of the students. It can be very frustrating when you get demanding students like that.

I had a student who didn't buy text book until after midterm. Grade on the first exam, before midterm, was ~65%. Grade on the final, after he had the text book, probably higher than 90%. I always use him as an example in class.

I hope things are improving.