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Monday, November 21, 2011

Where have you been???

I have several students this semester who are totally clueless (and have been since Day 1 -- I posted about this issue earlier).  Having taught for the past 15 years, I have had my share of such students but honestly don't remember any of them being this bad...  really...

It seems like every time I am explaining something, these same students ask stupid questions (yeah, yeah -- there are no stupid questions; but there are!).  For example, I would describe and demo how to, say, create a chart.  Students would ask questions.  Everybody "gets it."  A few minutes later, one of my "problem" students' hand shots up.  "How do I create a chart?"  There is a collective groan of frustration but this individual is usually unfazed.

In case you're wondering, I do utilize various instructional methods, catering to various learning styles.  I do remove potential distractions (e.g., students are not allowed to access personal websites or text, I move around the room, I frequently stand behind them so I can see computer monitors, I do ask questions to keep students on task, I don't lecture for long periods of time, I ask students to follow my demos so they are actively engaged).  Yet, apparently, I can't stop certain individuals from daydreaming (or whatever they are doing).  And it's not a one-time deal, either...

Oh, and these students usually request (and often demand!) extra credit, even though they snoozed through regular course assignments.  Profgrrrrl had a great post about this type of students a few days ago.  She describes my "problem" students perfectly.

Just received an email from one of these students, asking a question we discussed ad nauseam for the past several weeks.  What do I tell this student???  "Where have you been???"  Can't -- will definitely show up on my course evals and, more importantly, this question won't accomplish anything.

I worry about these students...  How will they function in the workplace?  What can I do to snap them out of this apathy (or whatever it is)?

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