I have also noticed that some students are less courteous and less serious in the
classroom than in previous years.  For ten years, I have included information on my
expectations about classroom decorum in my course introduction on the first day of
class.  This year, I included a new statement.  I explained that a number of students
were angry last semester because I allowed several students to disrupt the class,
which prevented them from getting the most out of the class.  I explained that I
would ask any student to leave the class if his or her behavior interfered with my
ability to teach the class or the other students' ability to learn in the class.
Since I made that statement, I have had no problems.  I think the key here is to make
it clear that the behavior is not a personal issue (aimed only toward the professor)
but rather one that  prevents other students from learning.

I deal with tardiness by taking attendance and counting attendance/participation as
ten percent of the course grade.  My syllabus states that three times being tardy
counts as one absence.  I don't have many students who show up late.  I also give
five bonus points for perfect attendance.

Diane Van Blerkom

Bev Krieger wrote:

> On Mon, 1 Nov 1999, Daryl Stephens wrote:
> > Recently several of my colleagues and I had noticed that there seems to be a
> > great deal more immature behavior than usual among our students this semester
> > --mostly talking in class and coming in late or leaving early.  At our state
> > developmental conference last week, I talked to instructors from several
> > points in the state, and they had noticed the same problems--actually having to
> > ask students to be quiet or leave the room if they were going to have
> > non-content-related conversations during class.
> >
> > Is this a problem nationwide this year?  (I think this year's college freshmen
> > are the group that were in fourth grade the last year I taught fifth grade in
> > another state, and I remember that bunch being less well-behaved than most
> > groups.)
> >
> An interesting observation, Darryl.  I taught in the K-12 system for 11
> years before moving into adult education.  I certainly experienced a
> similar phenomonon.  We had students who came to us in Grade 8 and with
> whom we had behaviour problems right through to Grade 12.  You could well
> be right. It seemed that they interacted and behaved in predictably
> negative ways.  I haven't experienced it in the college system because we
> have continuous entry.  It will be interesting to see what others are
> experienceing.
> Bev
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