Field of Science

Last week of a semester - the student perspective

It's too late. The last week of the semester is here. Things undone will remain undone. The general student attitude can be summed up as "Do we have to?". Their preference is to do nothing the last week of the semester. This would also apply to the first week of the semester, thus reducing a 15 week semester to 13 weeks effectively, sort of a 13% educational discount, and of course the manditory classes cut just before and after Thanksgiving. Of course if those two weeks were really removed, the beginning-end attitude would still seek a further discount. So as faculty you simply cannot give in. You have 1/15th of your material to cover, or maybe more like 1/9th, as is the case this semester. Let's assign that one lecture's material to be learned as a research project and include it as part of the final. But in some respect, it's too late to get any more out of students. At his point grades could be assigned with 85% accuracy; only a few will change as a result of the final exam, the study habits, the effort, the interest, are fixed. This is the way semesters always end. The students generally were quite good this term; only a few disappointments. You cannot get them all to succeed even though you present them with the opportunity. And so it goes.

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