12-22-2015 | Burnt Offerings III
The anecdotal evidence I’ve been able to gather tells me that students do not read anymore. In one course I co-taught with several other faculty members, the readings were posted online, which allowed us to map access patterns. In that course, readings were accessed — not necessarily read — by between 5 and 15 percent of the students in the class. The same pattern was confirmed by the textbook sales in a course from the previous year. There were roughly 230 students in that class. I was teaching George Orwell’s 1984 and I had ordered 230 copies based on enrollments. At the end of term, the bookstore informed me that it had sold only 18 copies of the book, a hit rate of about 8 percent. It may be that some students already had the book, or had purchased it from another source. But the quality of essays and midterm exams suggested a very different story, as did students’ own explanations of their actions. If you only remove your professor hat for a moment and allow them to speak frankly, they will tell you that they don’t read because they don’t have to. They can get an 80 without ever opening a book.
From: Dear Parents - Ron Srigly