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With a new school year starting, it's important to remember to read the syllabus. (Something funny.)


Kareni
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So, my college junior is in a Discord group with two of her three partners for a group project. The other two are complaining that the first part of their group project is due very soon and their professor hasn't given them any  instructions. One says the prof is so disorganized. The other agrees & says the prof will just have to push back the due date.

Dd is busy doing something else but takes the time to post a page of information about the project.

The other two express amazement.

Dd posts an additional page with instructions about the first assignment.

This blows their mind. Where did she find these?

Dd's terse reply (because she's busy), "Syllabus."

FWIW, this is an all-online class.

------

Dd#2 read her syllabi. She noted an assignment due the following class period. She completed it & turned it in. Next class period, the professor told the class that the assignment was due before they came to class but she'd give them until the end of the day to turn it in (probably because so few had done it).

Their almost universal response? What assignment? 

Well, except one kid who had absolutely no idea how to check his email or get on the course management system even though they had spent almost half of one class period practicing both of those tasks. [This is the Learn How To Be A College Kid class all freshmen have to take. Some of the kids need it more than others.]

The following week, the professor is explaining the details of a mandatory event the following night. One kid asks if they have to go. Professor explains the meaning of the word, "mandatory."

Another two kids loudly insist the professor should have told them about this event the week before. Professor patiently explains that she did -- when they went over the entire syllabus the first day of class. (My dd missed the first day of class due to being sick.)

I don't think some of these kids are going to make it...

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2 hours ago, RootAnn said:

So, my college junior is in a Discord group with two of her three partners for a group project. The other two are complaining that the first part of their group project is due very soon and their professor hasn't given them any  instructions. One says the prof is so disorganized. The other agrees & says the prof will just have to push back the due date.

Dd is busy doing something else but takes the time to post a page of information about the project.

The other two express amazement.

Dd posts an additional page with instructions about the first assignment.

This blows their mind. Where did she find these?

Dd's terse reply (because she's busy), "Syllabus."

FWIW, this is an all-online class.

------

Dd#2 read her syllabi. She noted an assignment due the following class period. She completed it & turned it in. Next class period, the professor told the class that the assignment was due before they came to class but she'd give them until the end of the day to turn it in (probably because so few had done it).

Their almost universal response? What assignment? 

Well, except one kid who had absolutely no idea how to check his email or get on the course management system even though they had spent almost half of one class period practicing both of those tasks. [This is the Learn How To Be A College Kid class all freshmen have to take. Some of the kids need it more than others.]

The following week, the professor is explaining the details of a mandatory event the following night. One kid asks if they have to go. Professor explains the meaning of the word, "mandatory."

Another two kids loudly insist the professor should have told them about this event the week before. Professor patiently explains that she did -- when they went over the entire syllabus the first day of class. (My dd missed the first day of class due to being sick.)

I don't think some of these kids are going to make it...

Oy! 😩

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8 hours ago, RootAnn said:

So, my college junior is in a Discord group with two of her three partners for a group project. The other two are complaining that the first part of their group project is due very soon and their professor hasn't given them any  instructions. One says the prof is so disorganized. The other agrees & says the prof will just have to push back the due date.

Dd is busy doing something else but takes the time to post a page of information about the project.

The other two express amazement.

Dd posts an additional page with instructions about the first assignment.

This blows their mind. Where did she find these?

Dd's terse reply (because she's busy), "Syllabus."

FWIW, this is an all-online class.

------

Dd#2 read her syllabi. She noted an assignment due the following class period. She completed it & turned it in. Next class period, the professor told the class that the assignment was due before they came to class but she'd give them until the end of the day to turn it in (probably because so few had done it).

Their almost universal response? What assignment? 

Well, except one kid who had absolutely no idea how to check his email or get on the course management system even though they had spent almost half of one class period practicing both of those tasks. [This is the Learn How To Be A College Kid class all freshmen have to take. Some of the kids need it more than others.]

The following week, the professor is explaining the details of a mandatory event the following night. One kid asks if they have to go. Professor explains the meaning of the word, "mandatory."

Another two kids loudly insist the professor should have told them about this event the week before. Professor patiently explains that she did -- when they went over the entire syllabus the first day of class. (My dd missed the first day of class due to being sick.)

I don't think some of these kids are going to make it...

This is what a lot of our freshman look like this year, unfortunately. 

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Ironically, my first year has had no trouble with college syllabi, Canvas, etc...but has yet to be able to actually open their  physical mailbox!

 

I am attributing that to homeschooler lack of comfort with combination locks....but, really, kid...is it that hard?

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Yep, exactly as @RootAnn describes.

I have a syllabus. I post reminders and clarifications through Canvas announcements. The syllabus can be accessed from three different places in Canvas. It is also on an html webpage in case someone has difficulty logging into Canvas or the system is down.

I explained the homework submission process in the syllabus. I explained the details again through Canvas. I still got questions. I explained it on Canvas again. Twice, actually. I still got emails.

The syllabus says "no labs in the first week". I post on Canvas "No labs in the first week." I get email: "I know you said we don't have labs this week. I just wanted to check: do we have labs this week?"

The test dates are listed in the syllabus. It explains details about the mode of the exams. I get email "when is the test? Is it in person?"

I wish I could deduct 10 points for every question I am asked that has clearly been answered in the syllabus. Or charge them a dollar. In a class of 400, that would be some nice pocket money.

ETA: This year's student cohort seems worse that usual. More confused, less resourceful (I mean, these kids can google any kind of crap, so they should be able to find online info if they went looking for it). We have been warned that this group of students may lack executive function, initiative, and academic preparation because they had to deal with two Covid school years, either in highschool or college.

Edited by regentrude
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Positive reason for reading the syllabus fully:

Back when I was at university, first week of lectures. The lecturer forgot some item they were trying to explain about how their department handles submissions that are early that a student wishes to "take back" to improve* (before the deadline), but had forgot (students submitting coursework early isn't a common "problem", apparently). A student raised their hand and replied (turns out that no, once coursework is submitted it's final, even though it definitely won't be marked until after the official deadline has passed because it'll be locked in the department reception safe reserved for coursework).

* - The lecturer was able to tackle more usual topics about coursework submissions that are on time or late off the top of their head, and appeared to have fit the notes for their entire lecture on an index card. This was in response to a student question.

"How do you know, since you've only been here a week?" asked the lecturer.

"It's in the department syllabus. Page 17, right-hand column, for anyone else interested," replied the student.

You can guess how impressed the lecturer was with that student!

Edited by ieta_cassiopeia
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This just seems to be an extension of what I see CONSTANTLY from people.  Nobody reads anything.  Or there is a serious lack of reading comprehension.

I get people asking about what time classes are, where we are located (saying they can't find it when it's literally the first thing you see on both Facebook and the website), asking about something that I just answered in an email.  It's constant and this is from adults (although some may be pretty young adults, even college age).  People do NOT read anything.  They want answers handed to them in little tiny bits of information when they are ready for it.

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1 hour ago, Wheres Toto said:

This just seems to be an extension of what I see CONSTANTLY from people.  Nobody reads anything.  Or there is a serious lack of reading comprehension.

I get people asking about what time classes are, where we are located (saying they can't find it when it's literally the first thing you see on both Facebook and the website), asking about something that I just answered in an email.  It's constant and this is from adults (although some may be pretty young adults, even college age).  People do NOT read anything.  They want answers handed to them in little tiny bits of information when they are ready for it.

This.

I appear to be the only one in my class to print the syllabus and put it in my binder.  (I know, I'm old if I'm still using paper!)  But, it means everything is right there.  Professor's phone number?  Check.  How/when to contact? Check.  Weekly expectations and assignments?  Weight of grades?  Yep.  All there.  And we will still sit down for a 2 hour class and I'll listen to these questions being answered at every class.

I bow down in gratitude to the professors who stick with their syllabi, even in a general manner.  I didn't know how much I appreciated it until I had the biggest flake for a speech teacher.  She'd make a Zoom class mandatory and forget to show up.  She wouldn't release the material.  She wouldn't hand out the rubric.  She'd let emails sit there for a week, and her "immediate" response time for texting would be a day late.  5 weeks of her nonsense just about gave me an ulcer.

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Oh dear.  Dd is taking Physics at the local college and just last night read the syllabus - class starts on Monday.  I was feeling pretty smug that oh yes, my kids all read the syllabus - quick! order the textbook!  Pay for 2 day shipping!  Lesson learned, hopefully.

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On 9/7/2021 at 4:28 PM, regentrude said:

I wish I could deduct 10 points for every question I am asked that has clearly been answered in the syllabus. Or charge them a dollar. In a class of 400, that would be some nice pocket money.

 

 

I feel for you with dumb questions.  I really do.  Brings me back to my time working in a physics department (I was staff not faculty) and had the same type of really????  I don't think I can forget the "how was I supposed to know when the final was?" person that one quarter. oh my. anyway.  yep. 

and at the same time, I wished at times to get extra points or money each time  my daughters found inconsistent and contradictory information in the syllabus vs other parts of course.  Instructors who did not proof read their own stuff and had dates all wrong.  Or used the calendar from Fall of 2017 for a Spring of 2021 class....really????? 

or where one page of the syllabus talked about percentages the mid term and final counted, but the very next paragraph at top of next page said there were no mid term or finals.   It was so annoying to have to email instructor and ask which page of the syllabus was correct.   and her excuses?  well, I didn't make that syllabus. I didn't know.  I can't fix that. It will break the system.  

This was for a class that was asynchronous before covid.

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