Thursday, May 10, 2007

Compare and Contrast

Recent emails from my students:

gen-ed class: Most email from the past week has been about grades (some just asking, some complaining). Next most common was procedural and logistical questions (like the location of the final). Least frequent: asking questions about the content of the course.

calculus: In first place comes fan mail*. This was followed by questions about course content. Least frequent was logistics. No one emailed about grades.

*While I take most of it with a grain of salt -- especially before grades are posted, some of the things that the students write make me wonder what types of people are out there teaching math. The way they describe their other math courses, it seems that it's fairly common for instructors to show up unprepared, to not even bother to learn students' names, and to give exams with at most a tenuous connection to the course material.