On Campus

Luring students with gimmicky course titles

“The Oprah Effect,” “Bad Girls of the Bible” and “Zap, Pow, Bang: Pop Lit”

University professors are spicing up course titles to attract the focus-challenged, head-in-the-cloud, abbreviation aficionados of today’s youth.

“The Oprah Effect,” “Bad Girls of the Bible” and “Zap, Pow, Bang: Pop Lit” are just a few examples of new, “grabbier” titles doctored to hook and lure the exotic “Internet generation” of current students.

I think they should give us cookies and hugs too.

The brains behind this latest “bid for fussy students who keep heading for business and engineering” extol their brilliance in Louise Brown’s Toronto Star article here. I, however, can’t help but feel a little insulted.

I can read 200-character course descriptions. You don’t need to say “Paris Hilton” or “OMG” to spark my interest.

Susan Knabe of the University of Western Ontario calls the title of her course, “Bad Girls: Sexual Dissidence and Popular Culture,” her “bait and switch.”

I think holding a glow stick or shiny spoon during the first day of classes would work equally as well.

Personally, I’d stray from these gimmicky courses. However fallacious my thinking may be, I can’t help but assume that the courses doused with perfume are the ones covering up their obvious irrelevance. Then again, I could be wrong.

Maybe I’ll check out some course outlines… if only I didn’t have so much tweeting, blog hopping, and celebrity gossip to get through. Damn my short attention sp—