Mar 23, 2019

Lazy teaching makes profs popular

Some of the most popular professors are also some of the most mediocre.

Professors who teach from the textbook, almost verbatim, or worse, those who parrot off every line of their PowerPoint slides give students a bevy of easy courses to choose from.

The worst offenders in this area are the instructors who run videos on a regular basis instead of actually teaching, and then have the audacity to award points based on attendance for these “classes.”

Professors who teach facts that can be learned with a quick Google search have a backwards concept of education. This type of instruction is not challenging. It doesn’t push students, or the professor, for that matter, to excellence.

College is expensive, not only in money but in hours spent in class and working on projects, papers and presentations. Classes with passive instructors usually have a group project or presentation that turn into a time hole for students. These projects may convince some students that they’re getting their money’s worth, but really are just a flimsy disguise for poor teaching.

This style of teaching doesn’t foster innovation, and it doesn’t “power the new California,” as Fresno State’s slogan touts.

Of course, there is another side to this coin. Some students who carry double loads, and even add work on top of that, do so because they purposely take easy classes with the goal of just skating by. They don’t approach college as an environment to innovate, test new ideas or grow; they see it as a list of check marks that must be fulfilled to get a degree.

These students allow lazy professors to exist by supplying a market for poor instruction.

This time of year, the main rumblings among the student body are questions like, “what’s an easy three-unit class?” As class schedules are planned and is consulted, a major concern is how to have the easiest semester possible.

To be clear, this column is not intended to slam students with responsibilities outside of school. It’s not a rant against people struggling to get an education while caring for their family. It is, however, an observation of an attitude of laziness from both professors and students.

Those in higher education with this attitude build a pattern for life that never aims beyond the status quo. But they don’t just hurt themselves. Mediocre professors and students give Fresno State a bad name.

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