Monday, June 18, 2012

"Where, exactly, in the assigned reading is the answer?"

I am so frustrated.  In my online class, I have them do one page homework assignments each week.  This week, after we had discussion on several other topics, the homework was about symbolism.  The textbook has a whole section on symbolism, and I like them to show me they understood by giving examples of each kind of symbol from the short stories we have read and discussed. This is made easier by the fact that the textbook gives examples from those same stories.  I never say they can't use the textbook examples even though there are other examples from those same stories (I used to-----but in the end, I am just happy at this point that they are showing me they can read and find the information). It is funny because the better students just automatically find their own examples.

This week, there was an ongoing "discussion" on the "Questions Answered" discussion board---the one they use to ask me questions about anything and everything---about WHERE exactly, the information was in the assigned reading.  How were they supposed to do the homework if I would not tell them the exact page, in all the huge (about 30 pages or so to skim through) amount of reading I had assigned (and this includes the pages of the stories themselves).  I would not tell them, but instead kept referring them to the schedule of readings and assignments and telling them there were supposed to do ALL the assigned reading for this week.  No where in here was an actual question on the material, until one of them involved in this asked me to just write out an explanation of the different types of symbols for them, since they could not find the right page.  I declined, asking them to tell me what part of the book's explanation they were having trouble with.  All this ended with angry proclamations that they (the four or five students involved in this "discussion" were just not going to do the assignment then, since I did not want to teach the material, all accompanied by promises to complain to the Dean that I am refusing to teach my own class.

Waaaaaaa?  I just hate people, sometimes.  I have 25 students in this particular class.  Five or so are no shows entirely, so that means 15 of them just did their work, and probably did it well. But the snowflakes do such a good job of keeping me occupied with crap it is so hard to appreciate the good ones.

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