Friday, February 15, 2013
Friday Thirsty: Scaring Them Off
In some ways, this is a good thing. I've probably got more students who are aware that the course will be hard, and willing to do the work involved, than I would otherwise. (I've probably also got a few who simply got caught with a seat in the class when the music stopped playing -- i.e. add/drop ended -- and know that many of them will also drop or simply stop coming, forfeiting part of all of their tuition depending on when they take stock of the situation and whether/how they act on their conclusions).
On the other hand, even with a shortened add/drop period, dealing with all the coming and going is a real pain in the neck. Realistically, they have to take this class, many of them will find it harder then they expect/think it "should" be, and it's not as if the majority of my colleagues are pushovers.
So, I'm wondering,
Q. To what extent do you "scare students off" during the add/drop period, deliberately or by accident? Have you consciously tried to manipulate this phenomenon, and, if so, how and in what direction? Do factors such as trying to meet enrollment and/or retention targets, or trying to keep students from wasting tuition money, play a role in your decisions? Do your tactics vary by level or kind of course (e.g. introductory/required vs. upper-level/elective)?
Extra-credit question (I don't believe in extra credit, but I'll make an exception in this case, since I've been wondering all week): what's the picture we've got in the background these days? Is that Ogden, UT? The place where the rogue L.A. cop holed up? The location of Frod's observatory? All of the above? None of the above?