RyeRev: Solomon Ogunrotimi

Ryerson Revolution, “Rye Rev,” is a series dedicated to giving students a chance to share their thoughts on what they’d like to change about the university based on their personal and academic experiences. It doesn’t matter what program you come from or your level of campus engagement.

If you had the chance to revolutionize Ryerson, what would you want to see?

Every now and then, it feels like the teaching methods at Ryerson University are lacking. I’m finding that there are professors who don’t necessarily teach, they just tell.

Students are required to buy new textbooks and other materials, while professors are reusing outdated PowerPoint presentations that are riddled with spelling mistakes. It’s 2016, yet I’ve had a professor use a PowerPoint that was last updated in 2003.

I’m constantly wondering, “What’s the point of these lectures?” I sit in a classroom listening to a professor reading their slides word for word. If I pay such a large amount of money to attend this school and be taught by professionals, I shouldn’t be in a classroom being taught by someone who reads off a slide. We can all do that. More often than not, I end up leaving class during the break and heading to the library with my group of friends, where we end up teaching ourselves by reading the textbook.

I chose to study international economics and finance because it’s a social science that is changing everyday — this is what I want to pursue a career in. But with the current state of the classroom, being in it is almost discouraging. It just feels so hypocritical to be taught by bored professors when there’s so much to learn.

With each year, the program gets more and more complicated and the morale of many students decreases. Where’s the professor’s enthusiasm to counter this feeling? It seems to be nonexistent, in my opinion.

It’s understandable that monotony may ensue for professors who teach the same classes over and over again, but what needs to be understood is that every semester brings a new group of eager students ready to learn. If the educator doesn’t exude excitement for the subject being taught, neither will the students. Quite simply, students need to be inspired by who they’re taught by.

In elementary school, we’re asked to present in front of our classes and are advised not to read  from our notes. We’re told to connect with our audience and keep them interested in what we’re talking about.

Even at their professional level, Ryerson professors could still take this advice. Perhaps if there were workshops for professors to practice these skills, they might be able to keep the attention of their students. It may not seem like much, but with this small change, the likelihood of students having a more knowledgeable, productive, and enjoyable time at Ryerson would increase tenfold.

Featured image by Augustine Ng