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BU 383: Inspiring Students... to Stay at Home

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            On behalf of the vast majority of students currently enrolled in the core course of BU383/BU283 I would like to express our discontent with the instruction method, and express our immediate desire to take action against it. We are able to, and will provide the signature of hundreds of students enrolled in this course, as necessary measure to move this petition forward. For privacy purposes, we, as the student body would like to remain anonymous and not have our names taken forward to the professors and course coordinator of this course.

            First and foremost, financial concepts are not simple for most and cannot be fully grasped by reading through an online textbook. Although we agree that a textbook aids in our understanding, a textbook is a supplemental component student’s turn to for further instruction after class. The classroom component is necessary for the foundational understanding of these obscure concepts being introduced to us for the first time.  If Wilfrid Laurier SBE wishes to upkeep the reputation its students have crafted for themselves in the financial sphere, it must at least attempt to provide us with professors who willingly instruct classes on material relevant to the course.  To attain the depth of financial understanding required in the current job market, repetitive online problems and links to YouTube videos do not provide us with the understanding required to solve the conceptual problems that we are tested on. There are courses we can memorize from a textbook and succeed in, but this is not one of them.

             Introduction to Financial Management is a mandatory course for the BBA, Economics and Financial Management and the Double Degree Program. This is automatically paid for with our tuition without a choice. That said, we had no influence or recollection of the structure of this mandatory course. We have been subjected to mathematical and obscure concepts in an illogical teaching style. This mode of instruction has employed the teaching style of distance education courses. We believe that a mandatory course for the BBA, Economics, and Double Degree Program needs to meet the standards that our other mandatory courses have passed. It is absolutely discouraging that we have been so disappointed in financial management due to the professor’s lack of interest in teaching and weak pedagogical aptitude. Instead we blindly attended our class on the first day of school to find out that our professors receiving a full salary and compensation will be sitting at the front of the room while we sit and read from our online textbook. Frankly, online courses in every other program are a choice, yet this course’s online manner is being inflicted onto us with no choice. It is disorganized, classrooms are empty, and people are not grasping financial knowledge to the level expected of Wilfrid Laurier students.

            The students who do benefit from this structure are at no disadvantage if a class component is implemented. The textbook is still available and professors can still answer questions during their office hours. There is no necessity in having two lecture-less classes a week with a professor at the front of the room physically available but not mentally engaging. My professor in particular has even discouraged students from coming to his office hours in the past. Students should have a right to do questions from homework on their own time and professors should be reasonably accessible outside of classroom hours to answer questions. Upon emailing my professor for help outside of class hours, I was turned away and told questions are only answered during the in class period. Of all the lecture based courses I have taken in my time at Wilfrid Laurier I have never been denied the right to have a question answered or offered an option of attending office hours as an option. The professors now have no obligation other than sitting in an empty classroom twice a week and take no responsibility over our understanding of the course.

            The results of the midterm in this course should speak for themselves. Although there are people who did well on the midterm, the majority of these students have taken financial math or actuarial science classes in the past. First time finance students who are engaged, interested and care about this course should also be able to achieve a respectable grade in this with the proper instruction. We are not opposed to a challenging midterm or final, but we must have the proper instruction and structure in a course that provides us with the conceptual framework to be prepared for not only this testing, but also for our future careers.

            For the sake of our success and the name Wilfrid Laurier graduates wish to uphold you must teach finance. Students and employers alike will no longer view our finance program with respect if we are not provided with a proper financial education. Enrolment will diminish if word gets out that an upper year course as crucial as Financial Management is not being taught.

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