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Power Point lectures — and, in fact, most lectures of any kind — clearly fell in the "boring" range.Pondering their responses was a little overwhelming.
I was soon heartened to learn, however, that how late someone arrives did make a difference.
"How many of you are bothered when one or more classmates arrive more than 10 minutes late," I asked?
That day last fall in class as I watched all of those students stroll in late, I knew something had to change.
So instead of seeking more advice from an instructor’s point of view, I decided to go to the students for answers.
At the next class meeting, after waiting for the usual tardy suspects to arrive, I introduced a topic change.
Urging everyone to respond truthfully and without fear of consequences, I asked students: "How many of you are bothered when one or more classmates arrive less than 10 minutes late?
Most important, they said they did not come to class on time to take them.
It also seems that a student’s year in college makes a difference.
" Their first answer took me by surprise and was the clear winner in all of their suggestions: shaming. ‘Smith’ stops class if we’re late," a female student said.
"Then he says something like, ‘Jane, how nice that you decided to join us today.’" "That really works? "Yeah, I don’t like when the professor talks to me in front of everyone," she replied. Next on their list was extra credit given within a brief window at the beginning of the course for doing something simple — like writing their names on a sheet of paper, or answering a simple question from a previous class.