Professors may be experts, but we’re certainly not perfect.
Being vague about criteria for course success, using obnoxious fonts, playing favorites, and not acknowledging students are just some of the irritating things professors do.
This post is the flip side to 11 Ways to Tick Off Your Professors. Here are the 10 things professors do that annoy students, straight from students themselves.
1. EMAIL FAILS
Students have a lot of complaints about the way professors use email, ranging from refusing to use email at all, having poor email etiquette (like using poor subject lines, writing in incomplete sentences) or taking too long to respond to messages. The bottom line, professors, is that students email us because they have a question they need answered ASAP. Students understand the general 24-hour response rule, but they at least want professors to follow it.
2. FAILING TO FOLLOW THE SYLLABUS
Believe it or not, students plan too. They get annoyed when professors veer far from the syllabus or change plans every class session.
3. VAGUE EXPECTATIONS
Students want to succeed. They are frustrated by professors who are vague about guidelines or deadlines. They want to follow the directions, but they must have directions to follow.
4. CANCELING CLASS
Professors may think that students are excited for the time off, but canceling class actually annoys the students I talked to who said it is a waste of time and money.
5. UNTIMELY FEEDBACK
Students actually pay attention to the feedback professors provide and use it to improve themselves. Students get annoyed when professors fail to give feedback in a timely manner. A lack of feedback annoys students most when another assignment is due before the first one is returned.
6. BEING UNPREPARED
Professors, we can’t fake this! Students can tell when we’re unprepared for class, even if we think they can’t.
7. BEING LATE
Multiple students mentioned professors either being tardy for class or ending class late. They also hate it when professors cancel classes after the class session already should have started.
8. ARBITRARY GRADING
Contrary to popular belief, students don’t want to be handed grades. Students are annoyed by professors who give people As who don’t deserve them. They also are irritated by professors who openly state that they don’t give As. More than anything, students want assignments back promptly and they want to understand what they’ve done wrong. Students also don’t want to be graded down because their views don’t align with yours.
9. NOT ACTUALLY TEACHING
Students want to learn in classes. They want new, challenging material that adds value to their classes and makes them feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. They don’t want tangents or the same material you’ve been teaching for a decade.
10. POINTLESS BOOKS
Books are SO expensive. Don’t require books for your classes unless students are actually going to actively use them. Books for the sake of books just annoy everyone.
So, professors, least we think we are perfect, here is a list of some pretty obvious faults. Let’s vow to do better this academic year.