We have all had those moments, when we think to ourselves… What the hell am I going to do?!?! I know I have procrastinated on a paper and then pulled on all nighter to get it done. But, sometimes it is not always my fault. Professors play a significant and very important role in the academic progression of students. First, they serve as instructors to the different disciplines that are present in schools. More importantly, they monitor and assess the progress of the students through continuous assessment tests, assignments and main examinations. Along with these assessments come the instructions that should guide the student through the papers. The professors rarely fail to give the instructions but the problem arises when the professors do not give specific details for the criteria of the paper. Many are of the perspective that the students contribute greatly their own de-motivation in learning. However, these vague criteria instructions have proved to have detrimental de-motivating effects on the students’ academic performance in schools.
A professor who regularly gives indirect or incomprehensible directives regarding assignments provided the student with different problems. For instance, a student who fails in the examination or assessment tests due to the professor giving incomplete and incomprehensible directives is bound to be de-motivated by the failure. On the other hand, there are instances where a student has to repeat work or assignments due to the wrong instructions given. These incidents serve to reduce the motivation that the students have towards a particular unit. The professor can be held responsible for such a lousy attitude that students have towards that unit of study.
Another notable incident is that the issuing of wrong instructions is likely to increase a student’s propensity to cheat. There are times when the professor has given faulty and vague instructions and the students misunderstand them only to realize when it is too late. The pressure of realizing that the assignment entailed different approach when the deadline is near causes the students to compromise in the advent of meeting their deadlines. The professor can be held credible for encouraging unethical academic approaches.
In most cases, there is the issue of wrong directions regarding assignments, and the goal of the assignment is never attained. This can be attributed to the misconceptions that the students from leading them to focus their energy towards other irrelevant areas. The consequences of this are ineffective learning and failure to meet the targets and goals that were set forth in the course outline. Over time, the results are damaging for the professor is usually forced to lower the standards in justifying the effects of his failure to give the right directions. These low standards lead to the students being under skilled and not fully productive in the end.
There needs to be a good relationship between the scholar and his teacher. One of the effects of the professor giving wrong instructions is that it affects the relationship. The student obviously does not think highly of the professor and most students are unable to separate the attitude formed between the subject and the teacher. Results are a poor working relationship where the students are likely to undermine the professor and are highly suspicious of the sincerity and articulation of his statements and other form of academic communication. There is a passive attitude that is directed at the professor’s directives given that past incidences of incorrect communication.
There are incidents where wrongful instructions lead to disharmony among the learning body whereby the students will grasp differently the instruction that have been put forth. If the assignments are assigned in groups, there is a possibility of disharmony among the students as there are different conceptions of the unclear instructions. Thus, the professor can be responsible for poor functionality in academic discussions and groups. In addition, the groups face other uncertainities. These uncertainties will lead to reduced efficiency of the quality of the assignments handed in. There are meant to be different perspectives that arise in groups, but there is the issue resulting from unclear and unspecific instructions.
Low grades are another consequence that a student has to deal with in the case of vague instructions. In a case like this, either the student will stray from the topic of discussion by giving irrelevant information, or they may fail to discuss the questions adequately. The student will end up failing and blaming the professor for the low grade that they have attained. The major problem arises in the imbalance that this particular grade will cause on the overall performance of the student, which in most cases will be on the downtrend. The student therefore fails due to the professor’s mistake, which is unfair.
Instructions are meant to constrain students to the specific guidelines offered by the professor as to the techniques that should be used in the attempting of the exercises, sources where the work should be framed from, word count and the presentation of the work. These details are used to provide uniformity in the ideas that the students will discuss, the length of the assignments will be uniform so that equality in the discussion is presented and the alignment of time spent on the work. It would be unfair for a student to have six pages to create has argument, on while another has only two pages of the same. The one with more pages is likely to have more points in his assignment.
In conclusion, when students perform poorly in any given assignment due to the issue of vague instructions, the professor should take the whole blame. A simple rule to adhere to in such cases is that the students are always right and the professor is wrong because he has misguided the learners. Prevention is better than cure and the professors should ensure that this is their guiding rule, in making sure that their instructions and criteria are clear and structuralized. A good instruction criterion is that which is short, precise, workable and written in a language that the students can clearly understand.