Q. What do bad professors and bad bartenders have in common?

10 09 2010

A. They both water down their product.

From Read Write Web:

Students are starting to return to college campuses, but according to a report commissioned by conferencing company Intercall, that doesn’t mean they’re heading back into the classroom.

The survey asked over 500 college students nationwide about their experiences with viewing course content over video streamed online. And 78% reported that their professors have used web streaming – either a live feed or videotaped lectures – with nearly a third saying that their professors use web streaming frequently. 21% of students reported that over half their course learning is done by viewing video content online.

That’s a disgrace for many reasons, but the most obvious one is that showing a film isn’t teaching, it’s showing a film. It’s also a great way to destroying your own job, since taking you out of the education equation makes it easier to send every class under the sun online. Lazy professors are contributing to their own obsolescence.

But read the rest of the survey results and you’ll see that students have some culpability here too:

Many students admitted that they only show up to class for the exams, and instead borrow notes and tapes from others in their class. 32% say they’ve asked a friend or classmate to record a class for them so they didn’t have to attend in person.

The top benefits college students associate with having their lectures and college courses available via video online are “being able to ‘attend’ classes even though they are really out of town” (63%) and “being able to attend class when they want, not when the university has it scheduled” (58%). 47% reported that online content made it easier for them to work more hours at their jobs. And 43% touted the benefit of not having to get dressed for class. Only 15% listed “being able to attend more parties” as the main benefit of having their courses available online.

Professors who don’t really want to teach and students who don’t really want to learn. Can someone explain to me again why college tuition is so expensive then if nobody really wants to be there?




2 responses

11 09 2010

Lazy, or being asked to work so much that they cut corners? In some disciplines a teaching award is the surest way to be denied tenure because it signifies not enough time spent on research.

Not to justify the filming/taping/cutting of corners, but just to say that there may be factors other than laziness at play.

1 11 2010
Teaching requires thinking and a few other painfully obvious observations. « More or Less Bunk

[…] as I wish this was a conspiracy, I think the causation here is probably reversed. I recently got called out for complaining about lazy professors, and I think there is some truth to the point that economic […]

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