makekn

Extended
Bio

As a university instructor I agree that page requirements are dumb. Classes and assignments are the way they are because that’s what students want. Page requirements happen because the high-achieving students demand it. They want explicit requirements and a detailed marking rubric so they can hit all the right points without having to think about how to structure a good argument. University instructors are unfortunately judged entirely by how much the students like them, and not on how much the students learned in the class. This system forces you to give the students what they ask for. It’s easier to ask the teacher how to answer the question exactly than to deal with the more nebulous requirement of figuring that out for yourself (even though this should be a basic life skill). Without these requirements, any subjectivity in the grading is deemed “unfair”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, there isn’t enough substance here for full marks, only to hear, well you didn’t set a page limit so that’s not fair to take marks away. I had a class of senior undergraduate students nearly mutiny when the only requirement I set out for an essay was that it needed to make sense and I didn’t care if that was 1 page or 20. This was after a month’s worth of classes on developing critical thinking and argument structuring skills.Also, if you try any of these tricks for making your assignment longer, the good instructors can tell. We’ve seen it all. Changing font types and sizes, page margins, character spacing, line spacing. If your argument is good, I won’t care because I hate the page limits too. I definitely don’t want to read 10 pages of pointless filler times 30-50 students. It’s horrible. If you handed in 9 pages of beautifully written text and used a trick to stretch it out so that there was a few words that pushed it to 10 pages, I don’t care. You made your point and you harmlessly gamed the system to make sure it fit into a dumb rule that I didn’t want either. I’m probably going to secretly give you extra marks for your ingenuity. I suspect I’m in the minority on that last point. 

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