Walter Fung remembers quite distinctly never causing any behavioural problems when he was a student. His explanation? “It’s quite simple – I never went to class.”
For most students today, however, Walter’s strategy would be a non-starter. In the past, university attendance was much more elite. Today’s students need the support they can receive inside the classroom. Hence, it is vitally important that they come to class and pay attention. Walter relates an instance from his own classroom:
“I had an interesting example yesterday. A student was talking quite loud in class in front of two VIP guests from industry who were giving talks. I asked the students to stop and if necessary talk outside.”
“Before the VIPs arrived, I told the class that the guests hired many PolyU students and that it was important for the students to arrive punctually and be respectful.”
“After the class I wasn’t sure if what I did was right, too tough, or too lenient.”
Walter tells that after the class the student sent him an email apologizing for his disruptive behaviour. Walter adds:
“I was concerned, but now the student and I seem to be ‘realigned’ – so that’s good.”
Would you have responded to this behavior the same way that Walter did?
Dr Walter Fung is a teaching fellow in COMP, with an Engineering Doctorate degree from CityU of Hong Kong. Before joining PolyU he worked in industry for some 25 years, as Head of IT / Regional IS manager in multinational companies. His area of interest is Information System Security, Supply Chain Management, and Knowledge Management.