For the sake of learning
Some class requirements that are meant to foster a stronger educational environment actually cause more stress
The primary purpose for attending a university is to gain knowledge (and to learn the University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes among other things) but requirements for some classes are unnecessarily harsh, especially for students who do things other than attend school, like those who work.
I’ve heard and attended classes that have a cap on unexcused absences before the professors start dropping grades. Some even drop up to 25 percent of your grade per absence.
Professors shouldn’t feel the need to hold our hands and force us to go to class. After all, we aren’t in high school anymore. If we choose to not attend class because we’re exhausted from working the previous night, then why should we be punished for wanting to sleep in for an extra hour?
I’m not advocating that students skip class and sleep for the rest of their lives. Going to class is necessary in order to have a good understanding of what you’re learning, but on some days, it’s acceptable to miss class. So long as students perform well on the exams (and actually show up for the tests), why should a teacher dock their grade or fail them for missing a few days?
People like to argue that bad habits in the classroom affect how one behaves in the workplace, but I beg to differ. School and work are two completely different things. In school, students pay to sit through lectures that are usually comprised of equal parts of attentive listening, daydreaming, and Facebook stalking.
At work, people are being paid to do certain tasks. I don’t know about you, but if I’m getting paid to do something, you can be sure that I’m going to show up as often as I can.
I’m not saying that students should be paid to go to school — as a matter of fact, some already are. I just think that, being college students, we should be more in charge of our own destiny. We’re adults. If we decide to show up to class only on exam days, then let us do so.
Just because a student misses a few days of class, it doesn’t mean that they’re lazy. They could be studying the material on their own. There are quite a few classes that are text heavy, so the additional individual study time may actually benefit some. So long as students are able to keep up with the reading, they can succeed in the class.
Instead of being pushed physically to come to class, students should be pushed intellectually.
Besides, everybody needs a break sometimes — even if older generations suggest that people don’t get breaks in the “real world.” Hell, even President Barack Obama takes vacations.
Other classes require students to turn in every single assignment. If even one assignment isn’t turned in, students fail the whole course. I know this is a motivator for students to do their work, but it’s so unreasonable. We are taught that life is a series of steps — skipping one step does not cause the rest of your life to come crashing down.
If we fail to turn in one assignment (unless this assignment is life or death, such as a term paper) then it shouldn’t drastically change our grades. Students are human beings, and we all know that human beings are forgetful creatures. At least, I am.
With all that being said, I am not a bad student. I’ve survived my first semester as a freshman in college, and I am growing into a more responsible adult everyday. I have other motivations to keep up my grades in college, such as my Millennium Scholarship.
Additional negative reinforcements are just a stressful burden and cause student panic. Reducing these harsh requirements from courses might do more good than harm to students and their grades.