Sometimes, I wake up late at night wondering how in the world my students are doing so poorly in my class. I know that there’s a “global pandemic,” but honestly they’re all stuck at home, so they should be able to spend every waking minute doing work for my class. They don’t even have the ability to lie and say that they have a lot going on in their life right now, because frankly, there isn’t.
That’s why I’d like to stress to my fellow faculty members: we need to double the work in our classes. Of course, this would be carried out by your TAs, because let’s face it, we’re much too busy to get bogged down by putting the time into creating our own assignments we expect students to toil and stress over for hours.
I think the answer to improvement is simple: students aren’t doing well because they aren’t practicing the material we present enough. I once heard a student say that my class “wasn’t too bad.” Another important metric of how good a class is are abysmally low averages on our exams — then, we can spend the class pointing things out on a distribution, and see who has really dedicated themselves to mastering the material. I should also set myself a reminder to tell my students that they probably won’t do any better than a C in my class, so they should set their expectations low.
Anyway, I’m going to get back to bed now after a night of watching football, not answering my students emails, and waiting for my TAs to finish the last exam. Remember though: students should have to work hard, and spend every waking moment doing menial work to succeed in our classes.