A few weeks ago, a college professor posted a comment that deserves highlighting:
I am a college professor. While some may argue that some of my assignments are overly challenging… all of my assignments are designed to force students to consider complex issues independently. They are meant (usually) to take little time, but be addressed seriously.
It stuns me how much training I have to commit to showing our incoming freshmen how I intend their “homework” to be used.
– Students have typically been “trained” to rewrite all of my questions prior to typing their answers. What a gratuitous waste of time – I should know what I asked.
– Students typically ask “how long it has to be”, where, to me, if you address the questions as asked, the length is unimportant (as short as possible to answer the questions). More meat, less filler.
-Students have been taught to “read” the textbook. No one should literally read a text – it is a reference, use it to gain information, not to follow word-for-word. Use it to glean key features, organize material, identify differences between similar ideas, and so on.
-Homework is not an opportunity to force students to teach themselves something that you don’t find interesting enough to cover.
Now that my children are working their way up this system, it is that much more infuriating.