10 Oct 2007

What BYU would be like if I was its president part-2

My first speech to the faculty would start out in roughly the following way

Each faculty member must have looked over, worked out and solved the answer to every question they assign. There is to be no guinea-pigging of students through new and potentially terrible ideas.

Why do I think this is important enough to be my first item of business?

Could it be that almost every semester a teacher (or more) tries some new and untested way of teaching/grading etc.. that doesn’t quite work out as hoped?

I can’t count how many times I have (after complaining) received the response “You’re right, we won’t do that again next semester.” So basically what the teacher is saying it “Thanks for the input, next semester’s students will benefit from our screw-ups on you.”

On 7 September 1999 President Bateman said the following in a BYU devotional:

It takes approximately three hours of study outside class for every hour in the classroom. If you take 15 hours of credit, you should allocate upward of 45 hours for study per week.

So, to calculate how much studying I should do per class should be simple.

I’m taking a certain Engineering class that is only 3 credits, yet 2 weeks ago, instead of the expected 9 hours of study, it was close to 30. The assigned homework was only 7 questions, but some of the questions had parts a-k, totaling around 50 questions and more than 20 sheets of paper.

A few of my friends got sick from pulling all-nighters, others had to skip work, and I got a little behind in some of my other classes.

Upon mentioning this problem to the teacher, the response I received was oh, I didn’t realize each of those questions had 12 parts to them, sorry about that.

It was a very casual response, not realizing how BIG of a deal that simple mistake was. And all because he couldn’t take 2 minutes to look at the problems he was assigning.

It’s fairly frequent that we get terrible assignments, and their response seems to always be “I’ll make sure I don’t assign that hwk problem next semester.” Well… All I can say to that is How does that help me? It doesn’t. If a course has been offered each semester for the last several years, with the same edition of the book, how is it possible that these kinds of problems keep happening?