Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Today and yesterday my students had to turn in their first major essay. My classes are web supported, so that means that they have to turn their papers in online. In our web supported shell, I have a dropbox set up where the students can find the details about the assignment and then submit it as an attachment when they are ready to do so.

Over and over again in class, I told the students that they needed to submit their assignments via the dropbox, but wouldn't you know it, at least one person in each class submitted their essay via email (either as an attachment to an email or in the body of the email itself). This was even after today in my classes I wrote on the board to not turn the essay in via email.

I'm sure many mothers can tell their own stories, but how come when you tell people not to do something, invariably one or two of them will still do it? I often joke with my students that I hate to tell them not to do something because I know that some of them will go ahead and do it. One of the people I car pool with said that when he was in college, they debated in his speech class who was to blame if a student misunderstood the teacher's instructions. Is it the teacher's fault for not communicating clearly (even though 69 out of 75 students were able to follow the directions) or is it the student's fault? I'm curious to know what you all think about this issue.


Anonymous said...

Well, unfortunately, my excuse that I gave professors when I did stupid stuff was that I forgot to listen. Surprisingly enough, I was still able to graduate with a great GPA and the friendship of many of my professors! So, if I have to vote, I'll say it's the student's fault, most of the time.

dksnyder said...

Yes, this does sound quite familiar - like what our 4 year old does! I'm thinking it is usually the student's fault. The teacher comes to class with a purpose and clearly defined plan to communicate for the day. The students who don't follow the instructions are probably the ones that tune in and out during the course of the class and miss the vital information. Now if there is also a visual reminder and they STILL miss it, I'm thinking those are the ones who won't hold a job later because they missed the project assignment their boss gave them!!

jen_lancaster said...

I'd have to day it's the students' fault. I know that my mind wanders ALL THE TIME and I have to admit that it's my fault when I miss something. Not that it makes me any less frustrated when my kids (or husband...) do the same to me. I guess it's human nature to always want to be right.