fabaig asked: What do you have to say about a lecture where no student cares for what the professor is saying. How would you say a student should approach a professor to speak to them about the course for some critical feedback in the most respectable manner?
If this is at the university level, then you can fill out a brutally honest course feedback sheet at the end of the semester. Universities use that feedback data to give tenure, rehire, and even give awards.
Okay, I just have to reblog myself to add something that is rather dark, honest, and cynical:
Maybe, like, your opinion on teaching style or “what the professor is saying” doesn’t matter? I mean, really. Are you the professional with years of scholarly experience and knowledge on the topic? If you don’t like the class, there is a window of opportunity to drop it, note the prof’s name, and try to avoid hir in the future if you can help it. If the subject bores you, consider changing your major.
However, There are some subjects—especially at the collegiate, humanities level—that there is NO OTHER WAY TO TACKLE THE INFORMATION other than reading about it and discussing it, or reading about it and listening to a scholar/professional discuss and parse it out. You HAVE to learn to be successful in a lecture-based or Socratic environment in a humanities/liberal arts advanced course. Deal with it.
There were times I was bored in my undergraduate English classes. I once fell asleep in Dr. Derrick’s World Lit I class and Indiana State, and I was mortified with myself. The man was brilliant, but dry. He talked a lot and asked few questions of us.
BUT IT WAS MY FAULT FOR FALLING ASLEEP. I needed to get more rest at night. I needed to be more proactive and take active notes in class. Hellfire, I needed—and learned—to Hermione it up and raise my hand to ask questions. I brought it up to an older classmate how Derrick’s class could be boring, and he said, “Yeah, but if you step up your game you’ll learn a lot from him.” I had Derrick again in grad school and learned more about research methods in 16 weeks than I ever thought possible, and it was mostly because I learned how to be his student, not because I demanded he acclimate to me and my style.
Trends in secondary education have led students to believe they deserve to be entertained every second of the day. This is false. You are also a responsible party in your education. Not everything is going to be fireworks, buzzwords, bell-ringers, and interactive activities.
Honestly, if you actually APPROACH the professor and offer that kind of criticism to hir face without it being requested, you’re asking for trouble because you’re likely going to insult the prof. (I know I would be.) Use the course feedback sheet if it means that much to you. If you feel your education is honest-to-god being tanked because of educational neglect, go to your department head first, then go to the dean.
But you being bored in class is not the same as educational neglect.
I would also like to add that the professor is a grown adult. If you really feel like the professor is actively doing you a disservice, go talk to them and explain that their teaching style might not be working for members of the class (I would talk to other people in the class first to confirm and get approval on this approach). If you don’t feel like you can do that, talk to the department chair and either (a) ask for advice on how to have that conversation or (b) ask them to address the situation.
When I was an undergrad, we had a situation where the professor simply wasn’t being understood by anyone in the class. We talked to the chair of the department, he talked to her about it, and she changed the way she was approaching the class.
If the conversation with the professor doesn’t work, then go to the chair. If that doesn’t work, to the dean. And so on and so forth.
But I would also echo GWALP in saying that it’s important to be able to disentangle issues with the class that are a function of your own disengagement with the subject or just class in general from issues that are real problems with the professor’s teaching. I guess my advice would really depend on what you mean by “no student cares for what the professor is saying.” That’s a very broad explanation that could involve anything from “my professor is racist” to “my science major friends decided to take art history and we’re bored.”
Lulz at the last line.
And yay for other input!