The governance decision made by the syllabus that class attendance is not mandatory was an interesting notion not only in this class but in classes that have similar policies. At the beginning of the semester it was easy to make it to every class with the early motivation for school but as the semester went on that motivation tended to dwindle. It did not dwindle in the effort I put towards the class but justifying going to class became more difficult. Being a first semester junior, I had a lot of challenging courses this semester and when there would be an exam in another class on a Tuesday or Thursday it would be hard to justify spending an hour and a half in class opposed to an hour and a half of studying. By no means does this reflect my attitude towards the class nor prioritized it over others but I was lucky enough to have a good amount of friends in the class too so if I missed a class every once in a while my friends could fill me in on what happened during that session. However, throughout this semester this class has taught me that this behavior can be unacceptable in the real world because a boss will not care about your excuses from outside distractions. This class has taught me how to organize, prioritize (based on opportunity cost), and resolve conflicts in order to accomplish all your goals.
Most of my classes I have taken before in which class mandatory attendance was required as a part of your grade, I would take a different approach to these classes. At the end of the day, you are at school to learn and grow as a person and the main way to do that is going to class and interacting with your professors and peers. However, this is a results driven world and the results at a university comes via your final grades. No where on a résumé can you write your class attendance but one of the main things focused on a résumé is your GPA and that is why I believe students make more of an effort to go classes that have attendance points. By no means do I justify this notion but it is the harsh reality of a lot of college students and I fall victim to it every now and again.
Going to class when it is not mandatory is valuable life lesson to learn because it teaches you that things you do not want to do in the short term can end up helping you in the long term. For example, if I were to not go to class but still complete all the blogs and homework assignments, I could seemingly slide through and get an acceptable grade. However, I would not have truly learned all the values and intricacies of the class in which I could discuss with a future employer during an interview. I also believe that not making class mandatory can actually help a student because if you are making the voluntary decision to attend class than you are most likely going to pay more attention in class since you are there on your own will.
On the flip side, voluntary attendance can have negative effects because students can start to diminish the value of the class based on their peers’ actions. If someone were to go to class everyday but see the overall attendance is dwindling, it will become difficult for that person to continue to justify going to class because they could get in the mindset of, “if they do not have to go, why do I have to go?”. However, I do believe this goes back to my early point of having a mature perspective on your education and not allow others to influence your decisions of doing the responsible thing (attending class).
The second governance decision made about allowing students to use electronic devices during class is one I think should be used throughout the university. Most students like to take notes on their laptops and different computer programs that are available now that make it easier to keep your school work organized. I am one of those people that like to use this method because I like having my school work for all my classes on just one laptop instead of scattered out across different folders and notebooks. I do see the argument that these devices can be distracting to the user and others in the class but once again, this relates back to my point on maturity in your academics. Everyone in the class is around 20 years old and just a short few years away from joining the real world where maturity is expected in all professional settings. Having a personal electronic device in class should not be a problem for the age group we are at because each individual should take their personal academics seriously and respect that others are too; thus, an individual using a laptop should be able to be mature enough to not distract themselves or others.
To conclude and tie all these things together, allowing for voluntary attendance and for the use of personal electronic devices forces the student to decide if the voluntary action is worth the end reward. In this case, and many other cases, the action is worth the reward. I believe you made these governing decisions because this is a 400 level class in which the students should be at a mature enough level to make the right choices towards their academics.