Student entitlement in Taiwan

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Student entitlement in Taiwan

Postby Big Vern » Mon Jan 15, 2018 16:41

I have a feeling it's hit the rock. Here are a few I've had this semester for the first time ever:

1. Student didn't do any homework all semester, despite reminders. After she complained about being failed I offered her the chance of completing all her homework and I would consider passing her. Her response: "I'm too busy. Can't you just pass me?". I thought I was being soft, clearly not soft enough.
2. Student has requested an additional 10 percentage points on his final score. The reason is he needs 90%+ for a higher GPA. That's it. He just wants me to increase his score from 83% to 93% for no reason other than that's what he wants. This doesn't seem to him to be an odd request.
3. Student has been absent without reason 12 times. She's complaining about being failed. She hasn't provided any reasons for her absence or even tried to bullshit. She just expects to still be passed having missed two thirds of the course.
4. Two students each got 79% and are requesting 80%. No attempt to negotiate some way of doing this, just I want this so give it to me.

I have a feeling that this sort of nonsense is only going to get worse from now on. I wonder how these people are going to cope in the workplace. Next semester I'm going to have to go hard-core strict if I'm getting students like this.
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Re: Student entitlement in Taiwan

Postby cranky laowai » Mon Jan 15, 2018 17:09

Many years ago, back in the States, I had a university student (an American, not an international student) who came to the first two sessions of class and then disappeared. For some reason he never dropped the class.

On the day that final grades were supposed to be turned in to the department, I found a note from this student in my box. He explained that he needed at least a C, and he included a large packet of somewhat odd writing -- some of it illustrated with rough cartoons -- that had nothing to do with the class. Hmm. Curious. I shrugged and went back to dealing with regular students.

After returning from doing some errands, I found another note in my box. This one was frantic. He had recalculated and determined that he needed to receive nothing lower than an A. Otherwise he wouldn't be able to join the Navy Seals and be able, some day, to save a little girl's life. And didn't I want him to be able to save that little girl?

I ended up giving him an NA ("never attended"), which wouldn't give him credit for the class but also which wouldn't trash his GPA (well, not any more than he'd done on his own).

Of course, that was just a one-off case. If I'd had a batch of students like that, I probably would have left academia a lot sooner than I did.
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Re: Student entitlement in Taiwan

Postby jimipresley » Mon Jan 15, 2018 17:17

Student misses 10 hours, I fail them. They come whining to me the next week with some sob story along the lines of "I couldn't come last week. I had to take my cancer-riddled grandmother to the hospital".
Me: "That's sad, but what happened with the other eight hours you missed?"
Them: Blank stare. "But last week I had to take my cancer-riddled grandmother to the hospital."

And the one I love most:
"Why have I been booted from the course?"
"Because you've missed ten hours."
"But my other teachers don't take attendance."
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Re: Student entitlement in Taiwan

Postby jimipresley » Mon Jan 15, 2018 18:30

I try to make my classes interesting and fun, and my uni's language labs are top-notch. I have two whiteboards (which I never use), two computer screens (one for what I can see and one for what the students see) top of the range projectors, screens and sound systems, excellent mixing desks, lighting that can be controlled to be ambient or bright, and the students have headphones and controllers on their desks for discussion activities.
Woe betide them if they play with their telephones. That is the biggest no-no. When one thinks that she's doing it surreptitiously, I stop everything that I'm doing and stare at her. The whole class of fifty turns to look at her and titter nervously. Of course, she's engrossed in her Line chat, so doesn't notice. Eventually, one of her neighbors elbows her and she looks up. I don't say a word. She turns purple with embarrassment, and doesn't do it again. And neither does anyone else. And don't sleep. If you sleep in my classroom, I mark you absent. And, god, do they whine! "But teacher, I was here last week!" "But you were sleeping, so, in effect, you actually weren't here. You were in LaLa land." "Whine, sniffle." Play with your telephone or sleep in my class, I WILL fail you. This is a classroom, not a bedroom.

Enough about me. My point is, that I stroll around campus and watch the local lecturers in action. What are they doing? They're sitting on a chair and droning into a microphone, whilst occasionally pointing at a dull, unstimulating Powerpoint. What are the students doing? Seriously, without exception, they are playing with their telephones or sleeping. NOT A SINGLE ONE is listening to the droning lecturer. Yet around 98% of them pass. It does seem as if there is an entitlement factor that paying your fees, rocking up and doing the bare minimum should guarantee a pass, and eventually a degree. And the teachers (sic) perpetuate this line of reasoning.

The students are simply doing what they're allowed to do. It's exactly what I would do, if I were in their shoes.
But those lecturers! Isn't it fucking soul-destroying to spend all day blathering into a microphone and absolutely nobody is listening to a single word you say?
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How clever of you to take an orange and a dog biscuit and build a time machine. - Bunks

Some countries cultivate vast populations of idiots for the purpose of maintaining sham democracies. - Toad

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Re: Student entitlement in Taiwan

Postby Big Vern » Mon Jan 15, 2018 19:09

jimipresley wrote:But those lecturers! Isn't it fucking soul-destroying to spend all day blathering into a microphone and absolutely nobody is listening to a single word you say?


To be fair, most of the lecturers and professors are teaching content. It's hard to make, say, calculus interesting. If the students who for some reason have chosen calculus aren't interested in calculus - then that's a real challenge. Also, those teaching content are supposed to be experts on the subject matter not necessarily how to teach. There comes a point where edutainment doesn't apply and the students need to focus and listen. If they are unable to do that then they should transfer to something like sociology or media studies.

The perfect solution would be an expert on calculus who also happens to be a really entertaining teacher who can impart knowledge to unmotivated students. That's unlikely, though.

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Re: Student entitlement in Taiwan

Postby jimipresley » Mon Jan 15, 2018 19:15

Big Vern wrote:
jimipresley wrote:But those lecturers! Isn't it fucking soul-destroying to spend all day blathering into a microphone and absolutely nobody is listening to a single word you say?


To be fair, most of the lecturers and professors are teaching content. It's hard to make, say, calculus interesting. If the students who for some reason have chosen calculus aren't interested in calculus - then that's a real challenge. Also, those teaching content are supposed to be experts on the subject matter not necessarily how to teach. There comes a point where edutainment doesn't apply and the students need to focus and listen. If they are unable to do that then they should transfer to something like sociology or media studies.

The perfect solution would be an expert on calculus who also happens to be a really entertaining teacher who can impart knowledge to unmotivated students. That's unlikely, though.

Fair enough, but all of the lecturers that I witness are teaching things like communications, media studies, English literature, journalism, tourism and public relations. And those are all subjects that could be injected with a bit of enthusiasm, unlike calculus. It would take a very special person to make calculus interesting.
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How clever of you to take an orange and a dog biscuit and build a time machine. - Bunks

Some countries cultivate vast populations of idiots for the purpose of maintaining sham democracies. - Toad
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Re: Student entitlement in Taiwan

Postby Big Vern » Mon Jan 15, 2018 19:45

jimipresley wrote:Fair enough, but all of the lecturers that I witness are teaching things like communications, media studies, English literature, journalism, tourism and public relations. And those are all subjects that could be injected with a bit of enthusiasm, unlike calculus. It would take a very special person to make calculus interesting.


Well then, you need to work at a proper uni like mine. We're mainly engineering and stuff I don't understand (and often can't spell).

We're recruiting if you're interested. Need 3 more full timers.
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