The Student Room Group

Should lecturers tell off students?

At my university (a well respected one, btw) lecturers very often make a point out of telling off students who are whispering but not being particularly disturbing. I should say, I never whisper and think it is rude and people who want to talk should do it elsewhere However I don't see it as the place of the lecturer to demand that people stop. For me behaviour management is not their responsibility, unless of course someone is doing something hugely disruptive in which case they should just be asked to leave. They are an adult speaking to an adult who has effectively paid to listen to them speaking, and I can't imagine that they would tell someone off at a conference they were lecturing at for whispering - what's the difference though, really?
I'm interested to see what other people think.
Original post by jamiet0185
At my university (a well respected one, btw) lecturers very often make a point out of telling off students who are whispering but not being particularly disturbing. I should say, I never whisper and think it is rude and people who want to talk should do it elsewhere However I don't see it as the place of the lecturer to demand that people stop. For me behaviour management is not their responsibility, unless of course someone is doing something hugely disruptive in which case they should just be asked to leave. They are an adult speaking to an adult who has effectively paid to listen to them speaking, and I can't imagine that they would tell someone off at a conference they were lecturing at for whispering - what's the difference though, really?
I'm interested to see what other people think.


The lecture is _working_ and is perfectly at liberty to call out people who disrupt their work environment, particularly as they are responsible for delivering to the rest of the class who are paying attention. Turn this around, how about a couple of lectures having a chat while invigilating your finals exam.
Original post by Mr Wednesday
The lecture is _working_ and is perfectly at liberty to call out people who disrupt their work environment, particularly as they are responsible for delivering to the rest of the class who are paying attention. Turn this around, how about a couple of lectures having a chat while invigilating your finals exam.


If they were whispering such that I couldn't hear them it wouldn't bother me at all
I'm talking about people whispering who are not significantly disturbing anyone, the volume of the lecturer microphone very comfortably drowns out even any hint of it. I have never been able to hear any of the people supposedly whispering, I presume it's just that the lecturer could see them. My concentration is disrupted way more by the lecturer stopping to call it out
I've heard of lecturers at other universities who actually say they are fine with people respectfully and quietly whispering if they missed something, for example
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 3
Original post by jamiet0185
At my university (a well respected one, btw) lecturers very often make a point out of telling off students who are whispering but not being particularly disturbing. I should say, I never whisper and think it is rude and people who want to talk should do it elsewhere However I don't see it as the place of the lecturer to demand that people stop. For me behaviour management is not their responsibility, unless of course someone is doing something hugely disruptive in which case they should just be asked to leave. They are an adult speaking to an adult who has effectively paid to listen to them speaking, and I can't imagine that they would tell someone off at a conference they were lecturing at for whispering - what's the difference though, really?
I'm interested to see what other people think.

When you are teaching / lecturing, people whispering / talking in your lecture are not only distracting to you, but are also distracting to others. If people want to hold a conversation in a lecture I would have no issue with asking them to leave and hold their conversation elsewhere allowing everyone else to follow what is being said whilst also allowing the lecturer to focus on the delivery of material.
If someone is talking through their lecture it's reasonable for them to call them out on it. I've certainly stood in front of a room of people and asked them to stop talking amongst themselves because it's too distracting and throwing me off what I'm presenting.
(edited 1 year ago)
If those specific students are being disruptive, making very insulting or confrontational comments, distracting other students, have ignored a direct instruction from uni staff members to stop whispering/talking/using their technology and focus on fulfilling their task- yes they deserve to be told off.
Perfectly reasonable to tell people off for talking in the middle of a lecture. If you fancy a chat go to the cafe
Bit harsh I think
Original post by jamiet0185
and I can't imagine that they would tell someone off at a conference they were lecturing at for whispering - what's the difference though, really?


The short answer is, yes, they often would. It's considered pretty rude and in some professional environments could have career consequences, trainers often give feedback to your bosses etc

Behaviour management shouldn't be the lecturers job, but they simply have to deal with too many immature kids just out of schools (or who just never grew up) who still think in terms of teachers, playgrounds and punishment exercises.to let control slip, especially as they need to think of the majority of other fee paying students who actively want to concentrate on what is being said.

An adult speaking to an adult sometimes means getting told to shut up and listen and not making a song and dance about it.
What crappy university do you go where the lecturers regularly have to use behaviour management strategies that teachers use with 11 year olds?
Original post by jamiet0185
At my university (a well respected one, btw) lecturers very often make a point out of telling off students who are whispering but not being particularly disturbing. I should say, I never whisper and think it is rude and people who want to talk should do it elsewhere However I don't see it as the place of the lecturer to demand that people stop. For me behaviour management is not their responsibility, unless of course someone is doing something hugely disruptive in which case they should just be asked to leave. They are an adult speaking to an adult who has effectively paid to listen to them speaking, and I can't imagine that they would tell someone off at a conference they were lecturing at for whispering - what's the difference though, really?
I'm interested to see what other people think.


If the lecturer finds the whispering distracting and it makes it harder for him to do his job, I don’t see why he shouldn’t tell them to stop or ask them to leave and carry on their conversation elsewhere.

Same as if they were whispering in a theatre, for example.
I routinely tell students to shut up. They get the respect they give in that sense.
I've also told people to.shut up at conferences, not usually when I've been presenting, but when someone else is.

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