Someone said :
But I am more worried about the quality of masters degrees in Ireland. Some seem to get them by post.
Jonh, people from all over the world, and not just Ireland, can undertake primary and masters degrees by post. They are recognised for what they are, and don't hold very much weight. If someone is stupid enough to part with their hard earned to do an online degree from a dodgy online college - well you know what they say about a fool and their money.
Someone said :
Although standards in teaching which wasn't great back in the 90s has really gone to the dogs. Much of what could fall under the arts umbrella in tertiary education could hardly be found to be much better.
A recent incident brought to my attention concerned a lecturer exhorting her students to vote against the Lisbon treaty. Clearly she was more concerned with imparting her politics to the next generation as opposed to sending the time doing was she was paid to do.
A few questions here Dolli.
What is your direct experience of teaching in the Arts at tertiary level? Or are you operating on heresay? Were you present at this lecture? Or know someone who was?
In my direct experience, having come up through and still working in, English departments in two different universities, any incorrect usage of the English language will lose a student marks.
Text speak in particular is viewed in a very poor light and a student will lose some serious marks for using it. Grammar and punctuation mistakes are likewise corrected and marks docked (but not as many for using text speak as text-speak rather than being poor English is regarded as no-English and as such cannot be corrected nor can its correct usage be taught).
And as I saw (yet again) only last Friday, plagiarism of any sort will have a student up in front of a disciplinary board, and could result in them being taken off their degree programme.
As regards to a lecturer encouraging students to vote one way or another, I've never seen anything like that. And as you rightly say, its very wrong. I am truly shocked. (But still I can't help wondering what that anecdote has to do with 'the fall and decline of the English Language'.)
As people who mark and correct essays and exams, we are explicitly trained to never allow a student's beliefs or politics to affect their grade. What we look for is how
they've made their argument. Has this student debated and discussed the topic in a considered and erudite manner, one which then leads logically to the conclusion they've presented - regardless of whether or not we agree with it?
I've given very high grades to essays where I really did not agree with the politics or the points being made. But the student concerned had presented their argument in a clear, concise and considered manner with quotes and citations from reliable peer-reviewed sources and books to support that. They had argued their beliefs in a very convincing fashion, and demonstrated a sophisticated grasp of the English language that was either appropriate to, or even above, the level they were studying at. Regardless of whether or not we agree with the argument being presented, those students will always merit a high grade.
In the School of English, we take things like text-speak, bad grammar, poor spelling and woeful punctuation very, very seriously. To do otherwise would be similar to a gourmet chef cooking with Tesco Value ingredients. Our message IS IN the medium.
I'd also hope Dolli, that you would feel similar ire with the same lecturer had she espoused a 'yes' vote for Lisbon to her students? Otherwise this thread is in danger of descending into yet another left vs. right slanging match, or another one of your diatribes against an Arts education at university. And we really don't want to do that to a good thread now, do we?