Instructors should consider a variety of issues when students fail their classes: Opinion

October 11, 2022
In a recent article for the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Beckie Supiano discusses a recent debate over who should take the blame when students fail a course. Supiano writes that high rates of failure in STEM are typical and that instructors do not necessarily see themselves as potentially being at fault. However, there are other issues that may influence the failure rates, including teaching approaches, evaluations, student response to active learning, and the assumption that high failures are the equivalent of having high standards. Supiano discusses research conducted by Elaine Seymour, which noted that the practice of intentionally trying to identify or prioritize the “best students” is detrimental not only to the top students, but also to those who had less educational opportunity, associate their grades with their identity, or who enrolled in a class without the intent of majoring in the class’s topic. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) (Editorial)