Nothing Yet…

The letter I sent to my holdout students has, thus far, produced not a single response.  Whether this is because the students in question haven’t checked their email or because they just don’t give a shit, I don’t know.  Either way, the end result is the same.

Sigh.

While I seem to be having better luck with this term’s hybrid students, I’m still not entirely convinced that TCC should use the half in-class / half online format.  I’ve yet to have a student really thrive in the hybrid classes I’ve taught.  Sure, some of them do well enough, but I’ve not encountered a student who was self-motivated and conscientious enough to really learn in a hybrid course.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that some English classes work better as hybrids than others.  I could probably do well teaching a hybrid grammar class, and the composition class wasn’t too bad (and would have been much better had the students actually done the work I assigned) but courses like public speaking and literature are probably best left as traditional “chalk-and-talk” classes.  I’m willing to take a lot of responsibility for the relative failure of my hybrid courses on myself; I don’t really understand how to teach an online course well, and I know for sure that *I* wouldn’t thrive as a student in such a format.  I’m going to be more forceful with Joe next term; I asked him not to give me hybrids this time around, but I’m not sure he heard me.

There are plenty of faculty at TCC who DO like teaching the online courses.  They can have them.

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2 Comments

Filed under concerns, General Griping

2 responses to “Nothing Yet…

  1. bowyer

    I think the idea of a hybrid class is counter intuitive, (and as you seem to be experiencing) counter productive as well.

    In general, people do not participate in things they don’t truly enjoy (such as homework) unless they are required to do so and giving them “plenty of time” is meaningless in these cases.

    Procrastination tends to happen with respect to things we would rather not do anyway. Almost everyone puts these less than enjoyable things off until the last minute (which is almost certainly too late) unless there will be an immediate ramification. Since the students see you infrequently (in comparison to a regular class) you and your work are relegated to some far corner of their minds to reside with the slowly atrophying neurons.

    Considering the fact that grades are no longer much of a concern for many kids (because grades don’t seem to affect the overall outcome of education anyway) the resultant poor grade means little. Giving zeros for these missed assignments is what they want. They are no longer required to do the work and they can blame you for not letting them make it up (knowing full well that they don’t want to anyway).

    I have found that not giving zeros and just leaving the assignment ungraded works better. The school I work for is looking closely at a no zero policy. Do the work or receive no credit for the course. If enough of the work is not done, then rather than a grade, a mark will be put in the transcript that states something to the effect of “insufficient work for evaluation”. (Note the period after the quotation mark. ;)

    I don’t know if the program you work for would consider this but it puts the onus on the student to pass in the work rather than accept a zero.

  2. I may suggest that kind of policy to the Powers That Be over at TCC. While it’s not necessarily a life lesson (the power company, for example, won’t give you an incomplete if you don’t pay your bill and, God/dess knows, neither will the credit bureau!) I do think that it’s appropriate in academic settings.

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