Since its introduction to Temple in 1999, many professors have utilized Blackboard to its fullest, allowing students to access course material, online exams, class discussion boards, grades and pre-class lecture notes.
But some professors refuse to post notes to keep classroom seats warm. According to Gordon Gray, an anthropology lecturer, there is a great correlation between the two. Students who don’t come to class don’t do well on exams. During his time at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, he posted notes and within a week attendance dropped to a third of the original class size.
“In my experience, I have found that posting notes is counterproductive
for students’ education, even though they think it will make it easier,” Gray said. “Some students just want to get through and pass exams. As a teacher, I want them to understand the material.”
Journalism professor Thomas Eveslage likes to have interactive classes. According to him, posting notes gives students a comfort level. They have to be active learners outside of the classroom and not just plop down in a seat, soaking up what a professor says.
“It distresses me to see that students don’t take notes with the diligence they used to five, 10 years ago,” Eveslage said.
Senior risk management and insurance major Justin Thomas agreed. He thinks that PowerPoint presentations can make an excellent professor better, but can’t make a bad professor good.
“There’s more to school than going to class. Going to class is only 10 percent. You go to class, see people and talk to them. If PowerPoint were the answer, we could save $80 million,” Thomas said, in reference to the cost of Alter Hall, the new business school.
Many students are upset and think it is illogical and vindictive of their professors who don’t post notes or lectures.
“I think some teachers just think, ‘Well I didn’t have this in college,'” said Devin Sewell, a sophomore Asian studies major.
“The resource is there so they should use it. We put outside time into class. They should do it as well.”
“I don’t think it’s fair, and it hurts students who go to class as well,” said Trish Mazzullo, a junior speech pathology and audiology major. “My teacher is all over the place and has no method. It would give structure so students know what to expect.”
However, non-note-posting professors aren’t completely off the mark.
“I’ve skipped classes that I know I won’t have difficulty in,” said Lauren Parker,
a senior political science major. “And ones that offer notes and no attendance policy.”
Physics professor Leroy Dubeck has been teaching at Temple since 1965, and said he uses more technology than any other professor in his department, but is not going to make it easy for students who skip class. He only posts past exams on Blackboard.
“I can’t do experiment demonstrations on Blackboard and videos aren’t in the textbook,” he said. This probably means he hasn’t heard of TUCAPTURE.
TUCAPTURE is an “academic capture system” that automatically starts, stops and simultaneously delivers “class captures” or video, to your TUmail and Blackboard accounts, with optional Podcast delivery as soon as five minutes after class. It was introduced in 2004 as a pilot program in the Fox School of Business. Known as the “digital concierge,” David Feeney
is excited to spread the technology around campus.
“More than 80 courses from Fox, CLA, Podiatric, Medicine, SCT and TU Japan have used TUCAPTURE to record every minute of every class meeting,” said Feeney, director of digital education.
“TUCAPTURE is also used by staff, students, guest speakers, vendors and others to capture and Webcast valuable presentations immediately and task free.
“TUCAPTURE requires nearly zero tasks, steps or other hassles. We find that older professors are just as likely to use TUCAPTURE as younger,” Feeney added. When urged to try it, statistics professor Robert Pred was hesitant to use the technology for fear of low attendance. Feeney assured him that there would be no negative impact.
“It’s a teaching supplement for students who miss class or want to review the class lecture again,” Pred said. “Students have different learning styles. For those who are auditory, online notes compensates for lesser note-taking skills. Other students take such highly detailed notes that they have no time during class to actually process the information.”
Kenyatta A.N. Joseph can be reached at email@example.com.