It is mid-October. Brief due dates are looming, and class attendance is dropping.
Attendance was so bad in my tax class yesterday that the professor thanked us for showing up. Today in employment law, I was the only person in my row.My professors fall into two camps: those who don't care whether we show up and those who claim that attendance is "essential" to foster discussion. I disagree.
The students who actively participate in class tend to be the ones who show up regularly. The skippers are obviously not interested in participating, so why demand the presence of people who are just going to spend their time on farmville and TMZ? Will the increased body count lower our heating costs? Having more people in the room does not mean you have more people listening.
Ironically, my professor who is most adamant about class attendance is the professor who promotes the least fruitful discussions. He wants us to parrot the reading, and the remainder of the time is monopolized by a few people who love to hear themselves talk.
I attend class out of politeness to the professor, and not because attending class is always worth my time. There are a few classes that I would not dream of missing (tax, conflicts) but there are other classes where my sole purpose is to provide an audience for the professor and the divas in the room.
My school threatens to un-enroll us if we stop going to class. This threat carries some vague reference to ABA standards, but I think this is ridiculous.
We've already paid tuition, extra people in class doesn't enrich the learning environment, and our degree isn't that helpful in securing employment anyway.
That's why people skip. And I that's why I think it is okay.