Feb 21, 2020

Attendance points mask poor teaching

Most students want an education worth their time and tuition more than they want participation points.

However, some professors’ use of attendance points doesn’t aid quality education, it hinders it.

Many classes are taught by professors who offer points for attending class. Attendance may seem like a reasonable thing to be graded on, but all too often offering points simply for taking up a seat in the classroom is really a mask for lazy teaching.

If a professor makes attendance a part of a student’s participation grade, it forces students to come to class and sit through what often proves to be a poorly planned lecture. This poses a problem for students who actually want to learn something. Classes that are taught in an unchallenging manner don’t benefit students.

Lazy professors, instead of improving their teaching methods and devoting their efforts to preparing innovative, thought-provoking lectures, resign themselves to other measures in order to lure their students to class. Contrary to what many Fresno State professors think, quality teaching is the best way to fill a classroom, not attendance points.

Instructors need to not only formulate their lectures in a way that will grab their students’ attention but also structure their classes in a way that will reflect their students’ grades.

Test scores should reflect whether a student attended class regularly or not. Attendance points should not be awarded to people just because they managed to drag themselves out of bed only to fall asleep in class. Students who miss lectures should see this behavior reflected in their test scores and find themselves not passing if they continually ditch class.

This campus should not be filled with students who go to class only to get attendance points in order to raise their mediocre performance to a passing grade.

While professors who offer attendance points might be trying to help students, they really hinder quality education by wasting class time on attendance when they could be covering important subject material.

In an economic crisis where classes are cut, enrollment reduction looms and there’s a tuition increase every semester, students at state universities are paying more for less. There’s not much that professors can do about university policies, but they can give students what they pay for and teach classes that are integral to success in the class, rather than rely on attendance points to fill the classroom.

Students who work hard to get into Fresno State should receive a quality education as their reward.

If professors continue to seek out ways to cover up bad teaching it will be difficult to fill this school with motivated students.

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