Augustana Center for Teaching and Learning
Do your students arrive late for class, start packing up early or even begin leaving early?
Students who pack up early, before class has ended, can interfere with concentration and trains of thought. If this behavior becomes consistent and persistent, you may want to try the following:
- routinely reserve important pieces of content or classroom activities (quizzes, classroom assessment exercises, writing exercises, clarification of upcoming readings, lecture content review) for the end of the class
- have students submit assignments at the end of the class
- make direct eye contact when you observe this behavior
- continue the lecture or other classroom activity, while physically moving toward, and stopping at, the area where the student is beginning to leave
- call on the offending students to answer questions or participate in discussion
- speak to the offending students privately, that how much their behavior is disturbing the other people in the room, and ask them to help you solve the problem
Arriving late and leaving early can be just as disruptive to your class. If this behavior becomes consistent and persistent, consider the following:
- be a good role model – start and end class on time
- implement, from the beginning of class, a starting ritual students would hate to miss or be embarrassed to miss
- draw attention to offenders by pausing, or addressing them, when they arrive
- subtract course points for arriving late or leaving early, but only if you set this policy at the beginning of the course
- if the tardy behavior is justified, you could set aside an area beside the door for latecomers and early leavers
apply techniques similar to those for packing up early (e.g. save important activities for the beginning or end of class).
(Kristensen, Eric. Promoting Classroom Civility. Teaching at the University of Ottawa: Handbook for Professors, 2005)
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