“They won’t put their cell phones away.’ “They’re late to class.’ “They don’t do their homework and they aren’t ready for class.’ These are common complaints expressed by faculty. While not foolproof, when students read and sign a Faculty Expectations document, they often more closely adhere to faculty expectations.
What is it? Why does it work? By requiring that students read a professor’s Faculty Expectations and respond, “I have read and I understand the Faculty Expectations’, unspoken questions are answered for both the faculty and the students. Rather than a list of “you better do this or else’, Faculty Expectations often include the following:
- Suggestions for a Successful Semester
- My Expectations of You
- What You Can Expect from Me
This information says, along with expectations of students, there are also stated expectations for the instructor.
The Faculty Expectations document is often the first indicator to the student that the professor sees learning as a team effort, rather than one where all the expectations are on the student and the professor is not held accountable. It says to the students, “I have to work hard to learn in this class, but the professor will be working hard, too’. By reducing the list of resentments both student and faculty develop over the course of a course, more energy is devoted to the content of the course, improving everyone’s learning experience.