The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 5th, 2015
It’s 9:30 a.m., and the upper-level
course I teach on mass communication is about to begin. Ten of my 27
students are missing. Twenty minutes later, that number dwindles to just
two, as eight students arrive, one by one, during my lecture.
Frustration kicks in as I try not to let the latecomers derail my train
Does any of that sound familiar?
Tardiness had been a common pattern for my mass-communication course.
I had tried talking with students directly — in groups and one-on-one —
about responsibility, professionalism, and respect. Even giving quizzes
at the start of class did not help reduce the stream of late arrivals.
That day last fall in class as I watched all of those students stroll in
late, I knew something had to change. So instead of seeking more advice
from an instructor’s point of view, I decided to go to the students for