Working on startup, you're always looking for ways to get the right people on board -- people with the right skills, who are also self-motivated and able to pull their weight. It seems that professors also face this problem in the first week of class, as they separate out the students who are really interested in their class from those who are merely taking it to get a stamp in the passport to graduating.
It's interesting to observe some of the things that professors do to make sure they have the most committed people in their class:
- Threats regarding course coverage: In one class, the professor exclaimed, "after the exam, don't ever come to me and say 'this was not covered in class' -- this is a 'turbo' class, so we won't be covering everything in class".
- Scheduling: Some professors deliberately schedule their class at 8:30am in the morning. If you're willing to get up this early in the day, surely you're committed and interested?
- Public embarrassment: At least one professor is known to cold-call students to make sure they have prepared for class. He then ridicules students who have not prepared
- Mandatory attendance: Some professors will drop students from class if they do not attend the first class. For classes with real-world clients, you sometimes have to sign a contract declaring your commitment to make the class a priority.