Impact of tardiness

Prakriti Adhikari, Staff Reporter

As the semester goes on, the number of students missing class and being late for class increases. This impacts the teaching and learning environment by distracting both teachers and students.

Dr. Lucy Kabza, a professor on mathematics, shared her experience with latecomers.

“It’s different for different classes,” said Kabza. “If it’s a science major class like precalculus, generally the attendance is very good, and there are very, very few students late. In non-science classes like college algebra, that happens a lot more often whether missing classes or coming late.”

Kabza tries not to get distracted when students come late to class.

“My philosophy is that I am there for students that are doing their job, that is they are in class on time,” said Kabza. “So, if a student that comes late to class asks a question, I would answer that, but I usually point out that ‘If you were not late to class, you would know it.’”

George Gibson, a professor of English, feels it impacts students negatively whenever they are late to class or late submitting assignments.

“Almost always there is a negative impact when a student arrives late or turns in assignments late,” said Gibson. “Many teachers will automatically delete points for late assignments, but even if this is not the case, late assignments tend to be last minute, rushed work, and the quality is less because of this. A student arriving late to class means that he or she has already missed part of the lecture for that day.”

From 20 years experience of teaching in the university, Gibson has had a few students who were consistently late to class and on submitting assignments. Gibson feels technological advancements like iPhones in the recent years prevented students from having interpersonal communication.

“One of the trends I have observed is that in the days before iPhones, students tended to engage with each other more directly, and communication was more face to face and personal,” said Gibson.

Kabza has taught mathematics since joining the university in 1999. She asks for explanations from students when assignments are late, and she subtracts some points from the assignment’s total to discourage such behavior.

“It just gets worse and worse if they don’t submit on time,” said Kabza. “There’s usually already something else assigned, and it is a self-punishment.”