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December 08, 1970 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-12-08

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Paige Eight


Tuesday, December $, 1970

Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tuesday, December 8, 1970

Pr ofs split on strict attendance

(Continued from Page 1)
lum Committee. "The general
feeling is that to put something
of such a nature on paper would
be an insult."
Tikofsky says there are rules
concerning reporting of grades
and cheating on exams, but
nothing that deals with the ac-
tual method of teaching.
Mandatory attendance is one
of the most common character-
istics of a structured class, and
most professors find the most
efficient aid in that regard is
the seating chart.
During the first few class
meetings of the term, students
are directed to choose a seat
and sit there for the remaining
class sessions. But while it is
easier for the professor to note
continual absences when the
same seats are constantly va-
cant, it'is also easier to learn
students names, which is t h e
reason many teachers offer for
the real worth of assigned seat-
The most effective and notor-
otus use of the seating chart in
University history probably oc-
cured between 1927 and 1968 -
the period when Hazel "Doc"
Losh taught astronomy classes
to undergraduates.
Legend has it that Prof. Losh
kept a seating chart in all her
classes, regardless of their size.
She gained fame throughout the
University community for being
able to quickly scan a lecture
class in Aud. B, in Angell Hall,
and know immediately who was
not there.
Losh purportedly knew every
student in her classes by name,
even if it was a lecture with two
or three hundred students, and
she was known to chastise stu-
dents who were absent e v e n
Most teachers are not as strict
as Doc Losh was, but some still
believe in seating charts, like
physics P r o f. Wallace McCor-
"Essentially, mandatory at-
tendance is a substitute for ex-
amining students on demonstra-
tions I perform during the lec-
ture period," McCormick ex-
plains about h is Physics 125
course. "I don't like students to
be examined on every part of
the course, so rather than have
them take notes, I give them
For the student body:
Sizes 34 to 46
State Street at Liberty

one credit out of four for com-
ing to lectures."
"We are not unreasonable
about this at all," he says. "Sev-
eral absences we don't pay any
attention to. We are only on
the lookout for flagrant viola-
English teaching fellow Dan-
iel Belden, who uses a seating
chart in his sections of the in-
troductory course, English 123,
says it is primarily an aid in
learning the students names,
but says he also take a "very
rough" attendance.
"I take attendance because I
like to know where my students
are," he said. "If someone miss-
es class three or four times in
a row, I try to find out why."
Belden says he recently no-
ticed that a girl in one of his
classes had been absent for
about two weeks and after in-
quiring, found she was in Uni-
versity Hospital.
"I managed to get some ma-
terials and assignments to her
so she would not fall too far be-
hind," he says, adding that he
almost never penalizes students
for class cuts.
"I want to know if a student
is attending," says one profes-
sor, who asked not to be iden-
tified. "I'm not going to pen-
alize anybody for a few cuts,
but I want to know if a stu-
dent is absent enough to war-
rant an incomplete."
Economics lecturer Deborah
Freedman does not take atten-
dance at any of her classes.
"As far as I'm concerned, if
they never c o m e that's their
problem," she says. "I like to
use a seating chart to learn stu-
dents' names, but even that is
not mandatory."

For the most part the atti-
tude of teachers toward late pa-
pers and other projects seems
to be easing. Most teachers say
they would n o t penalize stu-
dents for turning assignments
in late, although many require
a foolproof excuse for the tard-
iness. Some professors, however,
are not as lenient.
Music Prof. David Crawford,
for example, demands one pa-
per during the term from stu-
dents in his LSA music history
course and sets strict deadlines
for turning in an outline of the
paper and the paper itself. He
deducts 10 per cent from the
paper's grade for each day eith-
er the outline or the paper is
Crawford says the system has
worked quite well, explaining
"It is a matter of necessity for
me to impose deadlines, so I
will be able to have enough time
to read all the papers."
On the other hand, some in-
structors believe it is unneces-
sary to demand all papers to be
in at the same time.
"It is not important that a
teacher demand all papers to be
in at a certain time, especially if
he has a large class," says Eng-
lish Prof. Marvin Felheim.
"A teacher can only read one
paper at a time, so as long as
he always has one to read when
he wants one, it should be all
right for papers to come in on
a rolling basis," he explains.
"Besides, I have failed to
meet the last two publisher's
deadlines for the book I'm
writing," Felheim continues. "I
can't very well demand some-
thing of my students t h a t I
can't do myself."
History Prof. Gerhard Wein-

berg says, "If a student hands
in a paper 1 a t e, it is graded
down, depending on just how
late it is. But," he adds, "I tell
all my students it is better late
than never."
"Often if no deadline is ad-
hered to for papers, the stu-
dent finds it hard to complete
the assignment," English teach-
ing fellow Belden says. He feels
perhaps late papers should not
be credited equally with those
handed in on time, because he
says, often late students have
the advantage of hearing other
papers criticized in class.
Music Prof. Ellwood Derr
distributed a mimeograph-
ed sheet of directives to his Mu-
sic Theory-239 class, at the
start of the term, which includes
instructions for paper dead-
"Late papers can be accepted
only if the instructor for your
section has been consulted in
advance, or in the face of ex-
tenuating circumstances," the
direictive states.
In case of a protracted ab-
sence, students should present
instructors with written medi-
cal excuses," it adds.
Most students try to adhere
to paper deadlines, but welcome
loose policies. Typical is the
comment of a junior in the
Residential College (RC), who
boasts "I've n e v e r turned a
paper in on time since I've been
here," adding also that he has
never been penalized.
A student in the engineering
college reports that one teacher
of an engineering mechanics
class collects weekly assignments
at the beginning of a class per-
iod and distributes the n e x t
See LATE, Page 9

Daily Official Bulletin \
(Continued from Page 7)
Linguistics Lecture: Professor Lay-
man Allen speaking on "Queries or
Theories: The Game of Science and
Language". Rackham Amph., 8:00 p.m.
Flute Student Recital: School of Mu-
sic Recital Hall, 12:30 p.m.
Professional T h e a t r e Program:
"You're a Good Man Charlie Brown,"
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 8:30 p.m.
General Notices
The Queen's University, Belfast, Ire-
land, again offers exchange scholarship
for University of Michigan graduate;
scholarship will provide fees, board and
lodging for academic year 1971-72;
grant of $400 will be made by Graduate
School to partially defray the cost
of travel; study may be married on in
any of the academic disciplines offer-
ed at the Queen's University. Further
information and'applications available
at Graduate Fellowship Office, room
1014, Rackham Building. Deadline forj
receipt of applications is January 15,
4 Placement
Additional info available at Career
Planning, 3200 SAB, for the following:
WesleyannUniv., of arts in Teaching
Program, one and two year programsj
for men and women planning to teach
in secondary schools.
Notre Dame Law School, Indiana, of-
fers legal education which offers stu-
dents 2nd year in London, Eng.
(Continued on Page 9)
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