Courage and Consistency as Keys to Student Engagement

Credit: iStock.com/Drazen Zigic
Credit: iStock.com/Drazen Zigic

Like so many other professors, I’ve noticed that student engagement is lower now than it was even five years ago. Students are skipping class, skipping assignments, and getting AI to do their reading and writing for them in ever-increasing numbers. When I sign in to my institution’s learning management system, I can see that even my honors students are not logging in to my course, which means (since, for budgetary reasons, we are not supposed to print out our syllabi) that they aren’t able to access the syllabus either. In fact, through the LMS, I can see that roughly half the students who did log in to our course still didn’t go to the syllabus page or open the PDF. Of course, the quality of class discussions last semester seemed less intellectual than usual, and with facts like these in evidence, I don’t think that’s just my negative perception; students can’t intellectually engage when they not only haven’t done the reading but don’t even know—or care—what it is.


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