“Students may even then decide that the assessment is too difficult and not attempt it.”
University administrators recently banned lecturers from capitalizing letters in assignments out of concern for students’ feelings, the Sunday Express reported.
Leeds Trinity journalism department issued the prohibition in a memo to staff, explaining that uppercase print could “scare [students] into failure.” The missive about “enhancing student engagement and achievement” included a number of other dos and don’ts.
Lecturers were advised to write to students in a friendly tone and to avoid overbearing language and negative instructions. As the Express noted, among the prohibited terms listed were “do” and “don’t.”
The memo, which was obtained by the newspaper, said: “Despite our best attempts to explain assessment tasks, any lack of clarity can generate anxiety and even discourage students from attempting the assessment at all.”
The administrators advised that writing in caps could highlight the “difficulty” of the assignment and thereby cause the students to worry. Panic could then quickly spread to the entire class, they warned.
“This can lead to further confusion and students may even then decide that the assessment is too difficult and not attempt it,” the memo said.
Leeds Trinity defended its sensitivity, saying that the memo simply sought to help lecturers support students so they could achieve their full potential.
However, an anonymous lecturer told the Express that caps were needed to highlight important parts of assignments. Echoing growing concerns about the coddling of young people — and the creation of a generation of politically correct zealots — the employee said that faculty are fighting an education system that wants to treat students like children.
“We are not doing our students any favours with this kind of nonsense,” the lecturer said.