Students will sink as low as you let them. If we turn in a steamy pile, or if we put in a subpar effort, please call us on it. We won't get any better unless you do.
One of the things I love about sports is that if you mail in your effort, you will get crushed. In basketball, if you lose focus for a split second, you or one of your teammates will get scored on. Sports demand accountability. I haven't seen this so much in the academic sphere. The higher expectations you hold of your students, the more we will do.
I was thinking today about how much students whine, and how we would all benefit with more hours in a day. Are we really so near the limits of human endurance that we have legitimate reason to complain? No. Undergraduates especially have a light workload, and all students could learn to work, read and write faster than they do now. Unfortunately as Cyril Parkinson pointed out, the amount of work we have expands to fill the time we have to do it. We could all benefit from stricter time limits.
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