'We haven't banned capital letters': Leeds Trinity University issues statement to students

Leeds Trinity University, Horsforth
Leeds Trinity University, Horsforth
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The email follows on from news that staff were told not to use capitalised letters when talking to students

Leeds Trinity University have sent an email to students which states that they have NOT banned capital letters.

This is in response to media coverage about a staff memo that advised lecturers to avoid using capitalised letters in communication with students.

In an email sent to students on Wednesday, November 21, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Ray Lloyd, dismissed the news stories and said he wanted to share 'the facts.'

He said: "No – we haven’t banned capital letters. We’ve shared best practice with academic staff around assignment briefing which included “generally, avoid using capital letters for emphasis” and advised staff that “there is plenty of flexibility in this [the guidelines and advice], so module tutors should use their own judgement…”.

"Yes – we clarify our assignment briefs for students because students’ success in their assignments is, unsurprisingly, directly related to how well they understand the assignment brief and our expectations.

"Yes – we’re proud of the professionalism, dedication and resilience of all our students and graduates."

He then attached the original memo so that students could "make up their own mind."

The email follows the backlash received online after the memo surfaced online.

In the memo sent to the university’s school of journalism department, it requested that lecturers “generally, avoid using capital letters for emphasis” and to “avoid a tone that stresses the difficulty or the high-stakes nature of the task.”

Other requests included not overusing the words 'do' and 'don't' and to write in a 'helpful, warm tone, avoiding officious language and negative instructions.'

It went on to warn that when students are unsure about what an assessment needs, they talk to each other and misunderstandings quickly spread.

It stated that these misunderstandings may make students decide that it is “too difficult” and so they may not attempt the task.

A member of staff at the university, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Yorkshire Evening Post: “Nobody has banned it but there are guidelines advising us not to use capital letters which is absolutely ludicrous. I am yet to meet anyone who was traumatised by capital letters.

"We don’t need to do students any favours. They need to be prepared for the real world."