Saturday, December 15, 2018

Universities Banning ALL CAPS For Assignments—They SCARE Students




By Professor Doom

     I’m always impressed by the bumblings of our leaders in higher ed, but I suppose I shouldn’t be. These guys have Ph.D.s, research degrees, but never do research. They soak up tons of money, but never seem to leave anything in the budget to help with education. Finally, they have and use incredible power over what goes on in the classroom, in education…but have never taught a course themselves.

     On community college campus, these guys have the most power because faculty there seldom have any defense, and I know I hated how every semester I was told to cram some new “initiative” down my student’s throats, and that I needed to show the leader’s ideas were effective, or else.

     That said, you can certainly see these clowns in action on a university campus:


---I see I’m pretty generous in calling them “leaders,” and I have to admit “bosses” is more accurate. Nobody follows them because of their leadership, after all.

     When giving assignments to students, you generally give them some guidelines. Some aren’t particularly easy to miss, e.g., “be sure to put your name on the paper,” but some things you really don’t want students doing, and often, a simple warning isn’t enough. So sometimes to emphasize instructions you might well hammer the point home, eg, “DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA AS A SOURCE,” (good advice for my readers, incidentally. Infogalactic has many of the same topics covered, and it’s often a great source of amusement compare the two’s information).

      Yes, writing in all caps is bad form, and looks like you’re shouting, but if you don’t do that, and the student ignores the instructions, then if you dock points he’ll complain to admin and say it’s your fault because  you weren’t clear enough. Trust me, I’ve been on the business end of such shenanigans enough times.

      Faculty who write in all caps can say “hey, I tried to emphasize it with all caps. Can’t we let the student take some responsibility here?”

·               A memo sent out to Leeds Trinity staff said capitals could 'scare them into failure'


     How did higher ed ever get so backwards that even so simple a faculty attempt to help the student follow directions is now “scaring them into failure”?

It suggested that writing a word in caps could highlight the 'difficulty' of the assignment and therefore worry the students. 


      Wow. Such a confusion of ideas could only come from bosses leaders who’ve never taught a course in their lives. It’s a shame faculty are forced to heed the “wisdom” of these leaders.

The lecturer at the university told the outlet that despite the intelligence of their students they feel that they are fighting against the education system who want to treat them like children.
Adding: 'We are not doing our students any favours with this kind of nonsense.'

     Gosh, “the lecturer” didn’t want to give his name as he dared criticize what the boss said? I know, I’m in no position to cast judgment, and I’m not…I just want to reinforce that this is what higher “education” is on campus: whatever admin says it is, delivered by a thoroughly cowed faculty.

     Bottom line, higher education today is presented as “job training,” to get a high paying job, even. If the students are so coddled that even the very gentle yelling of ALL CAPS is deemed too frightening for them, how are they ever going to deal with an actual boss in the real world?

     It’s not a question the bosses in higher ed will ever answer, both because nobody is in a position to put the question to them, and because they honestly don’t care.