Even at a teaching-based institution, student and teachers don’t always share expectations.  Unfortunately though, it’s the student who loses.

Teachers and students must work together for student success.
Lyndi Bone/UVU Review

Within the first few weeks of new classes, students will more or less decide which teachers they like or dislike. These professors really do hold the key to student’s success and have the ability to help or hurt their education.

Dr. David Fearnly, associate professor of Mathematics said, “One of the most important qualities we look for when hiring professors is that they will be comfortable teaching four to five classes at one time and that they are happy teaching a lot.”

If professors want to help their students start the semester out right, they must start with a thoughtful syllabus. It helps students understand their expectations, assignments, grading system and timeline of the class.

“How can I be successful in a class when I have no idea what’s going on or [what’s] expected of me?” said Sophomore Jordan Moon, Aviation Administration major. “It’s so helpful when professors have a syllabus and stick to it.”

When a professor has established a thorough syllabus of the class, the course is made much simpler.

Another important characteristic of a great professor is keeping students informed of their grading system. Professors should be grading assignments within a timely manner, giving them back to students or posting grades online. Students become easily frustrated with professors who do not give assignments back or grade without feedback.

Freshman Jody Baughman, Exercise Science major said, “It’s extremely frustrating when you worked hard on an assignment you turned in, but when you receive it back, all you see is a grade with no comments. As a student, how can I know what I’m doing wrong to improve my grade with no feedback?”

Professors have a slim chance of receiving positive evaluations when they withhold grades from their students. It is important to students to stay on top of their grades.

Additionally, professors should become tech savvy with school programs like Blackboard, as well as using media in class.

“I like professors  who are more tech savvy because we, as a younger generation, are used to having things done quick and simple,” said Freshman Communications major Anna Carnel. “It is convenient to send things via email or Blackboard and have assignments and grades updated on Blackboard.”

The last contributing factor to whether a professor has a positive impact on students is where they proctor their students’ tests. The testing center is an extremely stressful area for students. If professors send their students to take a test there, it does not allow students the opportunity to ask questions throughout the test to clarify the test questions.

If a professor neglects to take some extra time to fulfill the needs of students choosing to take their class and pay tuition for an education, students are ultimately getting less than what they pay for.