A professor hid a cash prize on campus. All the students had to do was read the syllabus

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But do the students read them carefully? A professor in Tennessee put him to the test.
Kenyon Wilson is the assistant director of performing arts at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and decided to put an Easter egg in the curriculum for his music seminar class last semester.

The clue read: “So (free for the first to claim; locker one hundred and forty-seven; combination fifteen, twenty-five, thirty-five), students may be ineligible to make up for class and …”

This would have led the students to a locker containing a $ 50 bill, free for the first student to claim it.

But at the end of the semester, when he went to check the locker, the bill was still there.

“It’s an academic trope that no one is reading the program,” Wilson told CNN. “It’s analogous to the terms and conditions when you install software, everyone clicks that they read it when no one ever does.”

The class was made up of 71 students. Wilson told CNN his schedule usually doesn’t change much, but with the Covid protocols there was new information this time around.

“There is a standard model that doesn’t change. University has made us put a lot of legal stuff towards the end,” Wilson added. “But on the first day of class, I told them that there were things that had changed and they had to make sure to read them.”

When Wilson put the award in the locker, he left a note inside that said “Congratulations! Please leave your name and date so I know who found it. He was also sure to put the combination lock with a number in the 12 o’clock position, to determine if any students had tampered with the lock, but the combination was never even turned.

“I had high hopes and would be just as happy to have this conversation if any of my students found it the first week.” Wilson told CNN.

Wilson waited until the final exams were over and the semester was over before checking the locker.
He disclosed the unclaimed money in a Facebook post. He tells CNN that the students have been “playing good sports” about it.

Haley Decker, a recent college graduate, has taken Wilson’s seminar-style course for the past 3.5 years and was one of the students who failed to find the money hidden in the course. of the last semester.

“I honestly thought it was hilarious.” Decker told CNN. “This course generally has the same format every semester, so students know what to expect and don’t take the time to read the syllabus like we should.”

Decker said she texted a group of friends who were in the classroom with her and everyone thought it was a smart move from Wilson. “I think it was a really smart experiment for Dr. Wilson to try,” Decker said. “It definitely made music students realize that despite the repetitive information, you should still read your program carefully.”

The teacher note that everything went well.

“I know my students read, and I don’t expect them to read word for word religiously, but if they did, I wanted to reward them.” Wilson told CNN.

“Everyone was guilty of having absolutely no idea it was in there.” Decker said. “We all admitted that we briefly walked through this part of the curriculum because this policy is in every curriculum for every course you take.”

Wilson’s post on Facebook not only drew a reaction from students, but also gave an idea to other professors and teachers across the country. “Perhaps the spring of 2022 will be the most read program of all time.” Wilson noted.


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