July 18, 2009

Clues to the Clueless #21: The WTF Student

Posted in clues to the clueless, student stories tagged , , , , , , , at 2:42 pm by profart

Hint: If your professor tells you to withdraw from a class, then they are telling you that the other option is you are going to fail the class. Would you rather withdraw or fail?

One of the downfalls of online education is the herd of students who attempt to take an online class without knowing how online classes work. They don’t think they need to take an orientation session or look up how their college does online courses, or what is expected by the college. In other words, they sign up, and have no clue what to do.

Usually, they log in to the class, see my initial announcement splashed over the home page telling them step-by-step what to do next (read the syllabus, view the orientation presentation, tour the site, email with questions) and then I get a slew of emails to the effect of “I have no clue how to do an online course! Help!” I then proceed to tell them again, with a little more guidance about how to post a message to a board, and a lot more reminders that they are supposed to take a live orientation session before signing up for a class, and perhaps they had better go ahead and sign in for one of those sessions now. After all, the first line of my syllabus is something to the effect of, “You are expected to be familiar with how to take an online course here, and be familiar with your hardware and the software. Check out the tutorials the college provides for you online!”

So I get really, really annoyed at the occasional, but mercifully rare, “WTF Student.” WTF Student is the one who never figures it out, takes few to no steps to actually figure it out, and then complains that they need to pass the class, even after I inform them that they really need to withdraw. The usual excuse is “but I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED this class!” to which I would really love to answer, “then you NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED to go to the orientation sessions and check out the tutorials!”

This semester I have the supreme WTF Student. Two and a half weeks after the class started, I get an email from WTF asking why they haven’t been emailed about the class, and so how dothey get their assignments? I explained that the course is run through the online class software, and she needs to log in to get the syllabus (which they obviously haven’t read) and a stern reminder that they need to investigate the college website about online courses, including the tutorials. I also gave grave advice: as we were now in week 3 of a 10-week class, WTF “really needs to be withdrawing from the course.” That’s right, I didn’t pull punches or beat around the bush. I told WTF to withdraw, well before the withdraw deadline.

I was told that withdrawing was not an option. Could they have extra credit?

Um… no. I referred them to the syllabus (where I clearly state I do not do extra credit), the orientation presentation (ditto), and then again to the Distance Learning website with the tutorials, with a reminder that my syllabus states they need to be familiar with online courses.

They continued to not complete work, and the less said about the midterm, the better.

And now I have a whiny email about how they NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED this class, and NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED a C+.

What does this tell me, as a professor?
1. Since they haven’t bothered to do the work even after I told them to log in to the class and check out the orientation material and tutorials, they aren’t really that interested in keeping up with the class.
2. They haven’t yet read the syllabus. If they had, they would know that such emails are strictly forbidden by my Academic Honestly policy. Telling me the grade they NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED is specifically mentioned as verboten.

Why does this person think I am going to give myself extra work and pains to help them, when they have done nothing to help themselves (all they have done is whined)? I expect I will be getting the “You’re such a bitch” email next, but seriously. The lesson I am teaching them now may be way more valuable to them in the future than what they would learn if I handed them a bunch of extra credit crap for them to fail to do, and have to fail them anyway.

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July 13, 2009

Clues to the Clueless #20

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:50 am by profart

Hint: Trying to write an essay or exam while drunk or high is a Bad Idea.

Seriously.

And if you weren’t drunk or high, and your professor reads your test or essay and starts to think “WTF? Is this student drunk or high?” at any point, that is also Bad.

For my exams, they have a choice of three questions, and they have to use at least three specific examples of objects, covering at least three different periods of art. This test covered Prehistory through Ancient Rome.

The question:

History and historical events often impact art in very direct ways. Discuss moments in history which directly impacted art, how that impact was communicated through art, and how art, in turn, may have impacted history and culture. Remember that art includes 2-dimensional art (ie painting), sculpture, and architecture, you do not need to focus on just one of these.

No, its not the best question I ever wrote. Just sue me now.

But seriously, this is not an answer:

what moments in history have directly impacted art?

To this day we take the ruins and artifacts we find underground beneath our modern day, busy street, capitalist society; and we find the cherished possessions and remnants of the most sophisticated form of human expression. Art.
Artifacts, left behind from when artisans and craftsmen roamed the Earth tell us a story of evolving significance and change through the passage of time. And the history of human art can be very interesting due to the fact how significantly big human brains that require massive stimulation.

As soon as humans in prehistoric ages figured out how to draw and speak, its been a non stop journey of Art and its history in the making.

Verbal and visual forms of communication are what humans use to gain control and become society. The intelligence our brain computes in people gives them the capabily to understand the value of asking questions and exploring all the possible answers.

Different cultures will have various societies of people all which impact history differently and what has made our people who are living right now all the intelligent folks they are…living in a high tech virtual world. 2009

Studying the history of The Arts, allows to see a mental picture in our minds all the ideas people we wondering or discovering before the answer was ever discovered. One thing that Humans do and will continue to do…is ask the qustion:

What is the meaning of life?

Humans speculating the meaning of life is so deep on another level, its different for everyone, one may not even know that their sculpture of abstract thoughts molded out of clay from the earth, would one day tell the children of the future…the hobbies, ideas, doodles, writings and songs would be an Art!

Through Arts we become alive. They are a vital function that all humans particiapate in creating, whether they are aware of it or not.

Life can be looked at in great depth, by studying History.

People at different times and different places held different values.

During the 15rh century ancient Greeks enjoyed skillful artist. They admired illusionist, and using realism in their works. Admiring the artist’s who could
capture an objects exact look and paint onto a canvas exactly what they are looking at.

The Greek story of Zeuxis and Parrhisuis and their bet on who was the best painter came to the conclusion that Zeuxis grapes he painted were nicely done…but the curtain that hung by the grapes…Was voted the winner due to the fact of how ‘real’ the curtain was appeared.

That story was then later Painted in the 17th century by Adriaen Van Der Spelt & Frans Van Mieris, painters who wanted to portray their interpretation of the Greeks Story on how realism was admired by the Greek Peoples.

The catacombs underneathe Europe holds many stories of ancient people who traveled underground, using anything that could be a sculpting or writing tool, to draw pictures of what they saw everyday, kept track of daily routines, formed the first signs of any language to explain how they felt…and what they thought life would onto them.

Any medium of art can be observed from anyone’s eye. It is the eye of the beholder who interprets the story. People have different ideas and expressions. In order to understand human nature as a whole…you have to look at all art and understand the whole meaning to what the artist is trying to tell you.

We will express our mental thoughts and ideas as long as we can pick up any utensil capable of making a mark….and use it to scribble random feelings across the canvas of our world.

Seriously, people. Leave off the intoxicating substances before writing. Don’t just pick up any utensil capable of making a mark, and scribble random mental thoughts to your professor.