Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Monday's 610 comments

First of all I want to stress that this is not aimed at everyone in the class. Some of you did quite well (11 of 13 was the high) on the quiz and obviously are doing the readings. However it is equally obvious that yesterday's class left a great deal to be desired. From the quiz grades to the complaining, it may have been the first time in 4 years that I actually questioned my decision to teach at SBU and not a more research oriented university.

I will take the blame. Obviously I am not getting the point across to you that you have to do the readings and that it is not a blow off course. 12 of the 13 questions on the quiz were verbatim from the end of chapter ONLINE quizzes for the readings from this week and last. So you had access to all of the questions and answers prior to the quiz! And the performance was still that poor. I presume that the complaining (let us out of class, I do not want to do that much reading, etc) were just venting after a poor quiz, but I would appreciate you make any complaints to me priviately. Complaining in class is a quick way to turn others off to the topic as well.

However, my real concern is the quiz and not the complaints. I have a tough time concluding that you all are really doing the readings. (Well it is either that or that you really are part of a giant sandbag cartel ;) ).

Ok, so we chalk yesterday's class up to being the first time you used the clickers and the Monday after alumni weekend, and several of you were sick, tired, etc. However, what can we do moving forward? I do not want to cause panic, but I do want to warn you again that if the quizzes give you trouble, a test (which is much longer, covers MUCH more material, and has some questions that are more challenging) is going to be a bit more troubling.

I understand that all students want less work, but that is really not fair to those that do know the material to “dumb down” the class. Indeed it is not even fair to those of you who are asking for it. You deserve to be challenged. In the long run you want to be challenged.

Moreover, I am positive that you can all do this. It is not rocket science. You can do it! I mean it. I wish I could convince you of that. When I look out at the class, there are about 10 of you who are sitting with totally blank expressions, not taking notes, just sitting as if you have given up. That is totally the wrong attitude. You can do this! Indeed, many of you have done more than this in Finance 401. Or even Finance 301! And they are undergrad classes. So I know you can do it!

You are all paying a great deal for your MBA. It is my job to make that degree worth something and not just a repeat of what you had in 604 or undergrad classes. Obviously as an graduate course, it has to be more challenging than an undergrad course and as the final finance class this has to be more thorough than a introductory (604) class.

For my part went back and tried to clarify what you have to do for each class. I also want to remind you for the upteenth time that you do not have to read every word of every paper but that you only need to get the top two or three ideas from any paper. For that matter, right now I would be ecstatic if you get the top point from each reading!

Also a note to those of you are banking on "making it by" on the class curve, remember that the curve is not guaranteed. Indeed the syllabus says you need a 90% for an A. So, if I feel that you are not holding up your end of the bargain up--which will be in part evidenced by quiz grades, there will be no curve. You might want to reread that last sentence!

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