Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To think that there must be something DP can do about rubbish students in his lectures?

(90 Posts)

DP is in his second year as a mature student. Technically it's his first year on the course as last year he did a foundation degree so it's most of his peer's first years too. This year he's really struggling to keep his attention on one of his lecturers because there are quite a few twats in his classes who spend the entire time chucking stuff at one another, chatting, ignoring the lecturer, chucking things at other people, etc. Essentially acting like children. The lecturer couldn't give a shit apparently and just continues on regardless, so DP is having to spend loads of extra time on this subject (Maths) which is already a subject that he was having to spend longer on anyway (though actually enjoyed it before, whereas now he's dreading going to lectures because of the other students).

DP says that he has complained to his course leader and head of department on numerous occasions because at the end of the day, whilst they are paying a significant amount to ruin their education at the moment, he is also paying and his education is suffering because of the minority and a lecturer who doesn't care.

Is there anything he can actually do about this? Or is he stuck with them until they either drop out or grow up? I dropped out of uni because of substandard lecturers so understand a little how frustrating it is, but then this is the first chance DP has had to change his life that has actually worked thanks to badly timed misfortune in the past and he's just getting more and more frustrated and I'm left with a defeated, paranoid-he's-going-to-fail grump when I actually manage to get him to put his work down!

MrsHuxtable Thu 17-Jan-13 19:51:36

He can sit in the fron row thus avoiding most of the annoying immature students. Doubt they would go and sit in the front row and then chuck stuff. Students like that sit further back!

manicbmc Thu 17-Jan-13 19:52:43

Could he chat to other students who might also be pissed off with the behaviour so they can confront it together?

iloveeverton Thu 17-Jan-13 19:54:09

Second sitting on the front row. Any lectures on youtube or that he can download himself? Does he ever get small tutorials?

ohfunnyhoneyface Thu 17-Jan-13 19:56:37

Definitely worth pursuing- which uni is it? Is it a pure maths course or is it a unit for under grads on different courses? Might be worth complaining to their dpt instead if it's a crossover course?

It's outrageous adults behave like this.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 17-Jan-13 19:57:00

DD's lecturers post all their powerpoints and notes on the uni VLE so that students can access them. It is infuriating for your DH, but how is the lecturer able to stop students being disruptive? can't send them out, can't kick them off the course, the poor sod just has to keep going.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 17-Jan-13 20:02:38

He needs to sit in the front row.

He also needs to come to terms with the fact that they may just be twats all term. He will only wind himself up and distract himself more if he lets them bother him.

I totally sympathise because I am completely the type of person who would also let this really frustrate me - so it's from bitter experience that I say he has GOT to just let it go!

If they are that disinterested they will probably just stop attending soon.

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 20:03:08

He could find out who the head of teaching is in the department and complain to them. Or via his rep on the Staff-Student Liaison Committee.

Thanks for the ideas!

He does sit at the front (or as close as he can get) already, he got a bit annoyed with me for suggesting that so I got annoyed back and lectured him about growing a spine blush

He has pretty much been teaching himself from youtube! It's a wondrous thing and there are plenty of teachers and lecturers posting videos of their lessons on there smile

I will get him to round up the others who are peeved too and see if they can do something together, I think he's the only one who has complained but there are a few of them getting fed up with it. Especially the others from the Foundation Course last year as they didn't really have this problem last year.

He does get small tutorials in other subjects, I think this is his biggest class as every other subject is divided by the Engineer course, so this is the one subject where all of the Engineering students are grouped together as it isn't specialised to the type of Engineering, if that makes any sense?

wintersnight Thu 17-Jan-13 20:05:11

It might be worth complaining to the student union. If the department isn't listening and it's a real problem then they will complain on his behalf. There should also be a staff student committee he can take it too.

But the suggestions to look at the notes on the VLE and sit at the front are also good.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 17-Jan-13 20:08:40

Has he said anything at the time? I would get pretty angry directly with them. I'd also write a formal letter of complaint to the Whatever Committee.

And sit at the front.

"He also needs to come to terms with the fact that they may just be twats all term. He will only wind himself up and distract himself more if he lets them bother him."

That is his problem, he cannot ignore it, he really lets these things wind him up and ultimately get him down, he was like it in school too and I used to say the same then (as I do now too!)

redexpat Thu 17-Jan-13 20:14:53

The people in charge of discipline at my uni were called deans. Does he know the names of any the ones causing disruption? He should def ask at the student union for advice. He should also ask at his department.

Really the lecturer should tell them to leave the room. One of our leturers saw someone texting, said he could see her, that it was really disrepectful and walked out.

echt Thu 17-Jan-13 20:21:14

Nowadays, students are paying for a service. Complain, complain, complain.

The lecturer should be doing something about the discipline in his lecture - slackarse.

Euphemia Thu 17-Jan-13 20:21:37

My DH is a lecturer and if students walked in late, or texted during a lecture he would suggest they might wish to apply for a job in McDonald's as they evidently weren't interested in their studies! grin

Want me to send him down to sort this lot out?!

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Thu 17-Jan-13 20:22:18

When I was at Uni in the late 90s I got a bollocking for arriving 10 minutes late. I pointed out that I'd just spent 45 minutes in the queue for the car park!

thixotropic Thu 17-Jan-13 20:25:33

I was one of a small group of mature students. In amongst a large cohort of younger students with a few noisy disrespectful shits.

We used to shout over them to shut the Fuck up.

Worked for us.

LurcioLovesFrankie Thu 17-Jan-13 20:39:37

I spent 6 years as a lecturer and I used to regularly chuck first years out for talking! Warning, then ask them to leave, then if they didn't, stand in silence with my finest paddington stare till they got off their arses (no one made it past 30 seconds). Several of them told me, once they'd become postgrads, that they were all bloody terrified of me grin. Really I am a big softy, but they didn't seem to have worked this out. But if your lecturer hasn't worked out he can do this (or has been told by the higher-ups that attendance figures are everything and he mustn't) then I think your DP getting together with some of the other students to try to work out a strategy may be the way forward.

SpottyBagOfTumble Thu 17-Jan-13 20:42:52

Ah engineering first years! The memories.... grin

It sucks but I agree going to the dean as a group.

specialsubject Thu 17-Jan-13 20:49:40

he has a word with the lecturer, and if the lecturer won't take any action your DP gives the kiddy students hell, ideally with some backup from the other adults. Deepest voice possible, loudest voice possible and a bit of foul language. With luck it should be 'yikes, the old bloke is cross' and they will shut up or leave.

EnjoyResponsibly Thu 17-Jan-13 21:04:00

Get DP to film the disruption on his smart phone.

I would arrange a meeting with the dept head, bring others along who also agree there's a problem and lodge a formal written complaint.

Expect that there will be a plan to address the situation.

Advise the students concerned that they are in breach f their earning commitment policy or whatever those bolloxy things are you have to sign at the start of each year.

There will be consequences, such as exclusion from lectures ifvthecdusruption persists.

If the Dept head fails to act, escalate to Head of Year/Head of College etc etc.

As others have said, as a consumer your DH has paid to learn his course. This service is being disrupted. The service provider I.e. college needs to sort it.

larks35 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:15:18

Fellow students of mine used to record lectures on a dictaphone. I was mightily impressed and borrowed their recordings a couple of times when my notes weren't great. If your DH is sitting at the front perhaps he could record the lectures too? Maybe he has that facility on his phone or something.

I agree though that it is pretty unacceptable that at this stage of education, where you are adults and paying for it, disrupting the learning of others is allowed.

I teach secondary and have to deal with disruptive students. I'm not allowed to throw them out of the class without giving them "chances", by law we can't just chuck em out of school. However, if any of my year 12 or 13 students behaved as you described I can and would tell them to leave, no chances.

I can't believe a University lecturer allows his words of wisdom to be treated as such a joke by his students! If I were him, I'd tell them to leave and not come back until they have written an adequate apology to me and the other students who do want to learn. Madness

MsTakenidentity Thu 17-Jan-13 21:16:58

OP's DH could argue that he cannot hear the lecturer so needs to bring a dictaphone/small tape recorder to lectures. [Not ideal solution I know but in desperate times..etc]

MsTakenidentity Thu 17-Jan-13 21:17:51

X-post with Larks - sorry. x

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 17-Jan-13 21:30:00

Students do ask if they can record lectures on their iPods and I am always cool with that. All he lecturer is really allowed to do about twats like this is look at them and spell out expectations of behaviour etc at the beginning of term. If we glare or chuck them out, they might give us bad feedback on the NSS and then there'll be trouble hmm

Write out a hundred times: you haven't paid anything, students. You owe me and the other grown ups.. In the meantime, no you're not a customer or a consumer, and youre not paying my wages.

Sorry. Got distracted there for a moment.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now