Thursday, August 30, 2012

"...less than 72 hours into the term." Snowflake Email!

Dear Miserable Adjunct:

(in sotto voice: this snowflake got my gender wrong...even though a picture of my masculine and oh so bald head is clearly visible in the LMS content):

"I was not aware that a textbook was needed for this course. I bought my textbooks for my other classes 2 weeks ago and when I searched for this class nothing even came up. I was just wondering if you could clarify if something changed or why there was no book listed before. Just a little confused."

In the nicest possible way possible, I re-capped the 4 ways this student might have become more "aware" that a textbook was needed:

(1) the email I sent a week ago that included the full info on the textbook, including both flavors of ISBN and some sites that might sell it at a less usurious price than our bookstore.

(2) The syllabus posted in our LMS.

(3) The utterly redundant "Course Materials" section of our LMS

(4) the email I sent less than 12 hours ago with a link to the student store's textbook purchase function.

(5) The "search and purchase" area of the school bookstore's website.

I added a screenshot from (5) to prove I wasn't making that part up in my response.

I wonder if students like this could in fact pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the bottom.

It's week 1. Can December get here soon enough ?

There...I feel better now.


  1. Danger, Will Robinson, danger! This is a dumb one, who probably can't be pried off text messaging with a crowbar.

  2. I've already gotten the "do we *really* need to buy the textbook" question -- this after I'd waved it around 4 or 5 times in the course of going over the syllabus, and explained in some detail how it related to course goals. I gave my now-habitual reply: "well, you're responsible for being familiar with the contents and applying the principles it describes, and, since we have a lot to do this semester, and a limited amount of face to face time, the information won't be communicated in any other way."

    I think the problem is that, in many classes, the textbook and lectures/other course materials are, in fact, wholly or partially redundant. That's another strike against pre-packaged online course "packages" -- the students are actually going to have to buy the package, probably at full price, and possibly after having paid an additional "technology fee" of some sort for the online class as well. And they won't be able to share, or slide by without. This will not, needless to say, be a selling point.

  3. Too bad this one knows how to use email. You'll likely get many more over the semester.


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