Rumors spread across the U.K. on Monday that Leeds Trinity University professors were banned from using capital letters and the word “don’t” when assigning work to students, according to Fox News. The following morning, lecturers from the school took to social media to assure everyone that there was no such ban. Leeds Trinity University also released their own statement regarding the rumor.
“We follow national best practice teaching guidelines and the memo cited in the press is guidance from a course leader to academic staff, sharing best practice from the latest teaching research to inform their teaching…It is also about good communication and consistent style. For example, it is best practice not to write in all capital letters regardless of the sector,” the statement given by Professor Margaret A. House OBE, who is the Vice Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said.
The statement also said that professors have an “unpacking” session with students for every assignment to assure that they understand the expectations. House stated that Leeds Trinity University is committed to enriching students’ learning experiences and helping them reach their full potential.
Leeds Trinity University shared the statement on Twitter and explicitly stated that they haven’t banned the use of capital letters.
A university has banned lecturers from using capital letters when assigning work to students, in efforts to avoid upsetting them. Do you agree? pic.twitter.com/Wszqe7nS5I
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) November 20, 2018
Many professors of the university have confirmed that they were never told to stop using capital letters. Some of them jumped on Twitter and shared their thoughts in all caps to prove it. Others have assured that they are proud to work for Leeds Trinity University and fully support the school’s teaching methods.
The rumors began circulating when a memo to the university’s journalism department containing guidelines for assignments leaked, iNews reported. The memo suggested giving assignments to students in a friendly tone, avoiding the use of any “overbearing” language such as “do” and “don’t,” and keeping phrases in lowercase letters.
“Despite our best attempts to explain assessment tasks, any lack of clarity can generate anxiety and even discourage students from attempting the assessment at all,” the memo stated.
When news of the memo spread, many people criticized the school for treating the students as if they are too sensitive.
One lecturer explained that capital letters are sometimes necessary to make sure students are not missing any important parts of their assignments, Metro reported. They also said that the system constantly wants to treat students like “little kids.”
“We are not doing our students any favors with this kind of nonsense,” they said.