About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Are we doing our students a disservice

This week has been one of frustration for my teaching. I have three classes, all of which are using technology. I am finding that my students post and expect immediate response. This can be very demanding, as I have a family, snow days, my dissertation, and other outside pressures to contend with. I feel that my immediate response to them is training them to expect immediate responses.

Our Students Expectations

I believe that this is a generational problem that perhaps in 20 years will not be as important. Our current students are used to IMing, not having to wait for information. If they do not get the response they want, they simply move on to the next thing. Many of my generation (late babyboomers) look at this as impatience and rudeness. However, for those that have grown up using technology, this is a normal way to communicate.

So how do we prepare them for the intergenerational workforce? By accommodating to their form of communication, are we adequately preparing them for life after school? And will they be able to conform and learn how to fit into the communication styles of the generation to follow them?

Teaching them to be Life Long Learners

Related to this is a problem I saw when reviewing the course feedback. In comments about my course, students complained about having to do readings, projects, and even coming to class. Many of them perceive education as a means to find out information that they then will need to have to pass a test. They have very little understanding (or patience) in learning how to learn. They do not see this as necessary. I think they feel that if they have a set of facts and figures for a specific profession, this is all the learning they will need for the rest of their life.

So how do we prepare them for the rigors that the new organization will require? Is this why there is a perception that our students are ill-equipped as they enter the business world? By allowing them to fill out simple course and instructor evaluations in which they identify their preferences, are we really finding out how effective an instructor or course was in preparing them for their chosen profession? Or is this a tool that can be used not to evaluate the instructor, but rather to determine the need gap between student expectations and instructor delivery? And how do we close that gap, once we have identified it? And what about the larger gap between what a student wants and what employers expect?

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