We've come a long way since the late sixties and seventies when students would actually drop by your office, at times, to talk about the subject they were studying with you in class.
It may just be the southern university where I work, but I hardly ever get a question related to anything except the grade. I feel there are a few out there who would like to ask questions, but they are intimidated by the grade obssessed.
I don't think, in my generation, any but those who were determined, for whatever reasons, to go to college ever studied in high school. I wanted to escape a dysfunctional family and get out of suburbia, so I worked two jobs and studied. I couldn't get sports because you were working hard without pay.
I have watched however my daughter through school and now into college in this era of big test taking as the major measure of knowledge. One can ask, who is testing the tests? To get a good grade on a test online that allow 15 to 30 minutes, by daughter uses the index to her textbook. She doesn't read it.
Which brings me to what I see as the decline in reading skills and writing abilities. Also, I see a decline in the ability to think--or is it they are afraid to think? I keep telling them just think and provide reasons. There is no wrong or right answer here. Still, they refuse to do it.
If you don't read, if you have limited writing skills, and if you can't think and can only repeat what your church or nation state have told you--how can you be a writer?