End of Semester Grumble

Yep – it’s almost here. The end of the semester and the time when students go into blitz-mode and professors want to head for the hills.

This semester has brought some particularly irritating issues to my teaching forefront and now I’m going to tell you about them.

Following Directions

What I really mean is not following directions. I understand that it’s different strokes for different folks in terms of learning styles. However, I am amazed at how some students appear to completely ignore assignment guidelines, which most students seem to follow quite well. It is fascinating to see what the errant students concoct, but since mine is not a creative writing class, their submissions are definitely off the mark. I tell them to reread the guidelines, then come back and tell me what how to fix the error.  I then give them a chance to redo the assignment for partial credit. Phew – more work for me, good teachable learning moment for them.

Ignoring Format Rules

Mine is a business writing course. One of the key premises in business these days is: You are what you write. This means not just excellent grammar skills, but producing professional looking messages, too. Why this, you may ask? Simply put – most communication in business is based in text: email, text messaging, letters, etc. So, when a student produces a formal letter for an assignment that is anything but formal looking – despite in-class instruction and readily-available examples – I want to scream! No teachable learning moments for these folks.

Forgetting Capitalization Rules

This drives me absolutely crazy! Some students refuse to use proper capitalization and it makes their work grade school caliber.  Texting is a big culprit behind those students who insist on using lower case letters for everything (even their teacher’s name)! At least these folks are consistent, but infuriating since the practice keeps up despite repeated teaching moment discussions. On the other hand, there are those students who use caps (and not) willy-nilly such as an address where the street name is capped but the word “street” is not.

By now I’m sure you are wishing that summer vacation would hurry itself along so I can put all my teachable moments aside and find another mission in my lecturing life.

 

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