By Stephanie KostopoulosSpecial to the Chronicle
What’s a spring semester? Last Thursday marked our third snow day in two weeks, and as there is still another month left of winter, it may not have been our last. As fun and relaxing as the time off from school is, it is a little unsettling. How are we going to make up these classes?
So what should be done? Senior Vice Provost Liora Schmelkin has solutions.
“We have communicated with the faculty and indicated to them that there are a variety of different ways that [they] can make up for the missed class time. Given the diversity of courses and disciplines, and therefore the different types of coursework, interactions, and assignments that are involved, we want to give faculty the flexibility to make up for the time in a variety of ways. Although faculty might come up with other creative solutions, the two most common will probably be using the snow/study/reading days at the end of the semester to make up the time, and/or an online solution.”
Schmelkin reassures that extending the semester will most likely not occur, so there is no need to fear any major impact on the final exam schedule or graduation.
Even though the snow/study days built in at the end of the semester – which are usually spent either studying or watching Netflix – will likely be used to make up classes now, they may not give us enough time. Professors can try to schedule extra classes, but that is virtually impossible to coordinate with students’ work schedules, internships and other responsibilities.
“Online classwork would probably be a better plan because many people haven’t planned around meeting on days that aren’t regularly scheduled for class,” said Maya Williams, a freshman mechanical engineering major. “Being involved in different activities makes it hard to fit more class time into busy schedules.”
However, some classes require a professor’s explanations to validate the material and make sure that it is understood. The same applies for the reading and writing assignments that students may now be expected to do on their own time.
We can complete out-of-class assignments all we want, but nothing compares to actually sitting in the classroom, learning from the professor’s lesson and from other students’ questions and comments.
“Although I am a huge promoter of online teaching, learning in a collaborative classroom environment is really the most effective way to grow,” said Brendan Rorke, a sophomore management major. “Snow days are awesome, but unfortunately, when they happen, we really don’t think about the fact that they take us away from amazing opportunities to mature and develop as young adults.”