With the changes students have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, it begs the question: are students being overworked?
This pandemic has been a transition for professors and students alike, who are both trying to find balance. Some students have suggested that professors expect too much, overloading them with assignments. Meanwhile, professors have to provide classwork and homework for students on top of exams, papers, and so much more. How do professors know when enough is enough?
“I feel like professors are assigning the same amount of work than if we were in person,” one Outlook editor commented. “It just feels harder to manage because we were thrown into this virtual environment that many of us were not used to and/or don’t like.”
Zoom classes can be taxing. Students went from sitting in the classroom to learning either on the computer or on their own. Some professors set high standards for their students, and many students set high standards for themselves. Not setting expectations can impair success, but is it also harmful if those expectations are set too high?
“I think the students’ and professors’ expectations are right where they are supposed to be,” the editor recalled. “Personally, everyone I have encountered, both students and professors, have been understanding and empathetic when it comes to school work in this pandemic.”
Another editor shared, “My expectations for myself have been pretty high since before we switched to online classes. I have to remind myself to slow down once in a while and take breaks, especially since the digital world and Zoom classes can be so draining.”
With changing the way students learn, there also comes changes to deadlines and grades. Students may argue that it has become harder to achieve good grades. “This can be true for some students as there is a lack of motivation,” one editor said. “Students are isolated and lonely, and this can cause students to do the bare minimum when it comes to assignments.”
Another editor added, “I do not think grades and deadlines are too strict. I feel like they are being more lenient because of the circumstances this year, which is good and vital right now.”
Many professors have been generous with extending deadlines even before the pandemic. Now, when the pandemic has fostered a grueling academic climate for some, their leniency has been put to the test.
An editor recalled one professor who displayed compassion during an online class. The editor said, “My dog passed away in the beginning of last semester and I had to submit an assignment a day late, and my professor was very understanding.” Dealing with death can be hard, and students have faced more of it in the past year than normal. Providing students the time to grieve and process is important.
With many stressors surfacing over the past year, professors have been a lot more understanding. One editor said, “I definitely feel like there is more leniency with my classes, especially when it comes to exams. Since most of my exams are open notes, it makes test-taking a lot less stressful.”
The past year has been challenging for many people, and it can sure feel like students are being overworked.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University