Here’s a list – Ten Warning Signs of a Bad Professor – that does a pretty good job of covering the main characteristics of poor or indifferent instructors.

I can think of a few other things, like uses too much technology.

Speaking of which… UD‘s blogpal Veblen sends her this account of PowerPoint use in the American military.

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4 Responses to “Good Advice for University Students”

  1. david foster Says:

    Here’s an actual PowerPoint presentation on strategy in Afghanistan:

    http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/Afghanistan_Dynamic_Planning.pdf

    ..at least it avoids the bullet-point style

    But I think the problems with this go way past pitchmanship. Too many abstractions, unanchored to implementable specifics.

  2. GTWMA Says:

    The only two I question are #5 and #6. The amount of “undoable work” depends critically on the student. Too many students today regard reading a book of more than 100 pages and writing more than a 5 page paper as “an undoable amount of work”.

    “Incredibly petty rules” are often required by some administrator types…like the 12 page list of policies that I was once told had to be part of every syllabi. It may say more about people other than the prof.

  3. RJO Says:

    > UD’s blogpal Veblen sends her this account of PowerPoint use in the American military.

    I remember hearing someone on the radio a few months ago propose a sure-fire way to defeat the Taliban: he suggested air-dropping thousands of copies of PowerPoint over their training camps. Within days their whole operation would be paralyzed.

  4. theprofessor Says:

    It never occurred to me in college that it was permissible to bring in a giant bag of food, spread it out over an entire table, and then noisily munch and slurp for 25-30 minutes of a class. I don’t have a food policy myself, but I understand why some people do. A large subset of students comes to college completely unsocialized, and their behavior is disruptive. We are doing them a favor in the long run by stomping on it.

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