Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mandatory Attendance is for Bad Teachers (by anon)

I paid $3,597 for this semester's classes. That money contributes to a variety of things, but most importantly, my teachers' salaries. So when it's the first day of school and I find out that my teacher will be taking roll every day and attendance will be part of our grade, I am pissed!

This isn't because I am a slacker and would rather watch "Rescue Me" on Netflix for hours on end (even though I would.)  It's because my grade should be based on the material I acquire by attending class. If I don't attend, I lose out on that material and therefore, my grade suffers in that way.

Also, as I eluded to in the beginning, I PAY TO BE HERE!!! That should be a good enough reason for me to get my ass out of bed in the morning, but if it's not, well then the teacher is getting paid the same amount for teaching one less student, and shouldn't complain.  It is the teacher's responsiblity to make class interesting, challenging, and necessary to attend because that's how you get a good grade.

So I think the only teachers that take attendance are those that make it too easy to pass without attending, and therefore need to take roll if they're going to expect students to show up. When the teacher goes off just powerpoints (an example of a bad teacher), then posts those powerpoints to D2L, why would anyone bother showing up? Unless of course, it's part of your grade.

I am an adult, please start treating me like one.


  1. Oh please, there is a simple solution to your dilemma, why not just drop the class or transfer into another section or class where the prof does not take attendance rather than using your bad logic to blast the prof. Besides, how would you know how good or bad he or she is, your mind is already made up. You prefer to lay in bed sucking on beer and pizza watching Rescue Me anyway. A student at Madison, Northwestern, Yale, would never embarrass themselves by writing such a stupid post but again, this is Whitewater where there are some good students, but many more pizza and beer suckers. Last week in class I heard a student say that he does not read the assigned book, he just brings it to class, sits it on the desk in front of him in order to fool the prof. You and him would be good friends. He probably likes to watch Rescue Me.

  2. Ugh come on, anon 2:57. What's a student supposed to do?? Just keep transferring into new sections, hoping the prof will be one who actually doesn't make attendance mandatory???? That is a silly silly idea, and it is not practical at ALL for the student. What if the student has no other options but to take that section with that professor? You can't expect a student to fuck up his/her whole schedule just to avoid having mandatory attendance, when it's never guaranteed that the new prof won't also have mandatory attendance... jeez just think about it! It's such a silly idea.

    Now, here's a good idea: Professors who make attendance mandatory should seriously rethink their reasons for having mandatory attendance.
    So they know that students will learn more and understand the material better if the students show up for class, so they think they're doing students a favor by making attendance mandatory. Well, in some cases, students are like children who actually need to be treated like highschoolers. But for the most part, students are reasonable enough to understand that if they don't attend regularly, they'll probably get a bad grade (unless the class is, as the poster says, easy to pass without attending, and therefore, a bad class in the first place).
    In any good enough class, a student's attendance should inherently be a part of his/her grade. That means that naturally, the more a student doesn't show up, the more he/she is at risk of getting a bad grade, ASIDE from what extra grade deductions the professor slaps on for lack of attendance.
    In two of my classes (2 days/wk, full semester), if I have 2 or more unexcused absences (whatever that actually means) for the entire semester, my grade goes down one letter grade. That's insane!!!!
    Please professors. It is ridiculous to require attendance. Attendance for the student should already have enough of an impact on a student's grade in itself.

  3. anonymous 2:57 is totally hot and inflammmmmatory

    anyway, his/her arguments are irrelevant to the issue presented in the article so I don't know why anonymous 8:02 even acknowledged them. =(

  4. What you talking bout Willis. Students will miss virtually the entire semester and piss a bitch if they get a low grade. You and girl appear to be students who do not go to class or miss a lot of classes. I bet both of you filled out the class evaluations at the end of the semesters and your asses did not even attend classes regularly. You do not like to go to class or you expect the prof to do hand stands to entertain you howdy doody style. Well I got news for you sleepy heads some classes are just plain boring. Set the damn alarm clock, put down the box of corn ships, turn off Netflx, get a good night sleep and get your ass to class.

  5. Well before you go making your assumptions anon 4:13, you should know that I actually attend classes because I know I need to attend them. In certain cases however, I find it only rational to miss certain classes due to conflicting obligations tied to other classes.
    And just so you know, I have 3 out of 5 classes that do not require attendance but I do my best to make it to those classes because I enjoy them and know that I won't learn much from them if I miss class, and I certainly won't get the grade I want. But in knowing that the attendance is not mandatory, I feel secure in the fact that I do not have to worry about getting my grade lowered if things come up during the semester that just NEED to come first.

  6. Now that is what I am talking about Willis. You know that in order to learn and get good grades you must go to class. Now we are singling from the same choir book.

  7. Anon 5:11, I never said that I didn't know I must go to class to get good grades. In fact, I was arguing for that. Going to class, and learning the material presented in class should be the way you get your good grade, and that being the ONLY way attendance affects your grade.

    As the poster, I regret not including my stunning 3.9 cum gpa, as a senior. Unfortunately, leaving this out caused people to irrationally jump to conclusions.

    Also, I do not expect my teacher to do hand stands to entertain me. Although, there should be some sort of incentive for me to come to class. Whether it's important material, pop quizzes, assignments due or whatever, it IS the teacher's job to connect my attendance with how well I perform in the class. Some teachers skip this and just put a grade on attendance alone.

    And so, I restate my argument that perhaps teachers who have mandatory attendance aren't bad all around, but most definitely aren't doing their job in having attendance inherently be a part of a student's grade.

    To anon 2:57, I hate beer.

  8. Willis, I can live with your latest reiteration, that perhaps teachers who have mandatory attendance policies are not bad all around but the last part of your sentence "but most definitely aren't doing their job in having attendance inherently be a part of a student's grade" is nothing but an untested and unproven assumption. By the way Willis, I had a straight 4.0 GPA in four years of college. So where do you sit when you go to class, in the front or in the back with most of the losers? Most students who are not prepared sit in the back rows so they can hide and chat.

  9. Ok so this topic might have already died off, but I experienced an interesting correlation between my professors and the mandatory attendance thing.

    Two situations -
    Professor X: Great professor. Very self-aware. Knows the material being taught in and out. Looks to the responses of class to adjust teaching method. Asks the class thought provoking questions, and gives encouraging responses. Encourages any and all questions from the students themselves, and responds positively with thoughtful remarks. Gives participation grade.

    Professor Y: Bad professor. Doesn't seem to "self-check" often. Seems to be unfamiliar with the material being taught. Sees responses of the class and gets frustrated and lets in class "texters" and "internet surfers" become a distraction. Asks some thought provoking questions, but does not give encouraging responses or expand on (or evaluate) what is being said by the student to any significant degree. Material is taught as though it is stuck to a personal, under-developed, and somewhat biased interpretation. Gives participation grade AND attendance grade.

  10. Personally I prefer the professors who take attendance. I don't think taking attendance or not has to do with the professor's ability to teach as I have had both good and bad professors who both take and do not take attendance.

    Attendance is basically free points and professors are usually pretty reasonable about it. If the policy is completely unreasonable, then that is another story, but for the majority of classes I've had it has been 4 allowed misses for no reason. Even if you have conflicts with another class, that should be more than enough times to miss.