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 is the flip side to 15 Ways to Tick Your Professors Off. Here are the nine things professors do that annoy students, straight from students themselves.
1. First day awkwardness
Students aren’t crazy about going around the room and introducing themselves. They’re even less pleased when professors ask them to give the class an interesting fact about themselves. One student called this practice “cringey” while another said it was just a major waste of time.
2. Email fails
Students have a lot of complaints about the way professors use email, ranging from having poor email etiquette (like using poor subject lines and writing in incomplete sentences) to taking too long to respond to messages.
3. 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.
Speaking of surprises, one student said he hates pop quizzes, which he views as a way to test students’ ability to take a quiz, not their knowledge or understanding of the material.
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. Group duds
I’ve noticed through the years that students don’t seem to mind doing group work as much as they used to. However, one student told me that she hates it when professors purposely pair a hardworking student with a notoriously lazy student for group work. No question who will do everything in that group, right?
6. Untimely feedback
Students actually pay attention to the feedback professors provide and use it to improve themselves. One student told me she hates it when professors fail to give feedback in a timely manner. “I like to use that feedback to gauge my work and do better on the next assignment,” she said. A lack of feedback is especially annoying when another assignment is due before the first one is returned, she said.
7. Lack of control
You know those cackling hens in the corner? You have to address them. A student told me she hates it when a group of students starts talking in class and the professor just lets them be distracting.
8. ‘Duh’ Teaching
Ok, we get it, you’re an expert, but your students aren’t. A student told me that she hates it when the class clearly doesn’t understand something, but the professor acts like the content he/she has taught for 25 years should be really easy to understand.
9. Just reading
Professors’ poor attempts to use technology, specifically slide presentations, annoy students. Students don’t want professors reading them slides or reading to them from books. They want to be entertained and engaged with the material being presented.
So, professors, least we think we are perfect, here is a list of some pretty obvious faults. It’s interesting to me how these have changed through the years. But, for the record, I also wouldn’t be interested in giving a “fun fact.”