School’s Out for the Summer (Already)

The Outlook Staff Discusses the Newly Implemented 14 Week Schedule

This past year, the University has opted for a 14-week schedule of classes compared to the usual 15-week schedule. The shortened schedule added an extra five minutes to each class, but cut a whole week off of the semester.

The change affects both professors and students. The Outlook editors agree that it seems as though professors were not as prepared for the schedule change as they seemed to be at the beginning of the semester.

One editor said, “As the semester is coming to a close my workload has become very hard to manage.”

The extra five minutes at the end of each class was supposed to equate for the missed week, but the editors do not believe it has served its purpose. Just a few extra minutes does not give enough time to teach a whole new lesson or appropriately continue a previous lesson. Instead, the extra time is used to reiterate what has already been said, or let class out early. One editor said, “I’m not sure if the extra five minutes really adds up to an extra week of classes but it does not feel like it does and I have not really noticed a difference in how long I am in class for each week.”

The shortened schedule, even with the extra five minutes, forces students to have more work outside of class because of a crunch for time. Because of the lack of class time, students are expected to complete more work outside of class. The work being done outside of class seems to be sufficiently more at the end of the year. Professors may not have realized the limited time they had with one less week, so some students say they have received extra work to do outside of classes that may have been completed in class if there were a 15th week.

One editor said, “One of the most obvious observations is that fact that many professors seem to feel the need to pack in as many assignments and material as possible before the end of the semester, which is quickly approaching.”

However, The Outlook understands that material must be covered, regardless of the length of the semester. One editor said, “Even if the classes feel rushed, I would rather learn everything we need to learn, so I understand why it would feel a little fast paced. I’m sure professors are having a hard time adjusting too. It’s not their fault that we feel crunched for time.”

The extra workload at the end of the semester affects the amount of time that students have to study for final exams. One less week does not seem like much, but when students could be studying for final exams, now they are taking exams and finishing papers. The reading day seems like the only day available for most students to get their studying for finals done.

One editor said, “I feel as though I’ll be writing papers, and taking quizzes up until the reading day, which does not give me much time to study for my finals.”

The schedule change is new to everyone and both professors and students are still trying to adjust to the changes. With this year being the test run of the schedule change, maybe in the future professors will be able to manage their time better and students will not be overloaded with tests, quizzes, papers, and finals all coming up so quickly at the end of the year.