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[education] College students ´get away with´ poor preparation

来源:http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-11-10- 作者:Mary Beth Marklein 时间:2008-11-13 Tag:college   student   education   点击:

Image: Chris Smith, in 2007 a sophomore at Ohio Dominican University, looks at his blog in his dorm room in Columbus, Ohio. Smith has been unafraid to hide his preference for playing baseball over going to class or criticizing professors for assigning too much homework. Many students who come to class unprepared still end up with A's, a new survey shows.

By Kiichiro Sato, AP

 

College students 'get away with' poor preparation


Nearly one in five college seniors and 25% of freshmen say they frequently come to class without completing readings or assignments, a national survey shows. And many of those students sa y they mostly still get A's.

The survey doesn't address whether those students are lazy, busy, intimidated, bored or geniuses. But it supports other studies that suggest a gap between what college professors expect from students and what students actually do.

 "College learning is a two-way street," says Indiana University associate professor Alexander McCormick, director of the National Survey of Student Engagement, which conducted the study. "The purpose here is not to dump on faculty, but when a substantial chunk of students come to class unprepared, it suggests that they can get away with it."


The findings, out today, are based on surveys this spring of nearly 380,000 randomly selected freshmen and seniors at 722 four-year colleges. Participating schools generally reflect the diversity of U.S. higher education.

Colleges use the survey to help evaluate the quality of their undergraduate education. Among findings:

• Students report spending about 31/2 hours a week preparing for each class. That's about half what instructors expect from a typical student.

• 59% of seniors and 55% of freshmen said they frequently worked harder than they thought they could to meet an instructor's standards.

• Of those who frequently didn't do homework, 29% of freshmen and 36% of seniors got mostly A's.

Those findings echo observations of Northern Arizona University anthropology professor Cathy Small, who spent a year living in a dorm and attending classes alongside freshmen as part of research for a 2005 book.

Many students cut corners as a way of managing the demands of student life, when "there were no consequences and no rewards for doing or not doing" homework, she says.

Small has since cut back on required reading and ties homework directly to discussions, quizzes or exams. "Part of accountability meant you created readings that were realistic in terms of the goals of the class."

 

READERS:

1. Do you think professors assign more or less work than they used to? Why might today's college students be skipping assignments? Do or did you?

2. If you are a faculty, what would you do with reading assignments? If you are a student, what would you like the assignments to be?

 

Vocabulary

1) get away with:  to escape the consequences of (a blameworthy act, for example):
逃避:逃避(如应受批评的行为的)后果:

 e.g. College students 'get away with' poor preparation.

 2)  timid adj. 胆怯的

  intimidate:to fill with fear, to make timid  

  e.g. The survey doesn't address whether those students are lazy, busy, intimidated, bored or geniuses.

3) dump on: (slang) to criticize another severely

   e.g. The purpose here is not to dump on faculty...

4) chunk: a substantial amount, a lot of 很多

   e.g. ...a substantial chunk of students come to class unprepared...

5) diversity 多样化

   e.g. Participating schools generally reflect the diversity of U.S. higher education.

6)  cut corners:to do something in the easiest or most inexpensive way 抄近路

   e.g. Many students cut corners as a way of managing the demands of student life, when "there were no consequences and no rewards for doing or not doing" homework, she says.

6)  campus vocabulary:

students:

freshman ==> sophomore  ==> junior ==> senior

faculty, instructor

teaching assistant ==> lecturer==> associate professor ==>professor

 


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