During the past few months in New Jersey, we’ve gotten so much snow that it has affected our ability to go to school. While some students are happy to have days off from class, many don’t realize that their money is actually going to waste.
Post-secondary education is structured in a way that does not allow for missed classes to be rescheduled, and primary education allows for an extended school year to meet the standard of 180 school days. In high school snow days had to be made up later in the year, but when college students have snow days, we can’t make them up.
There is an ongoing conversation attempting to resolve the issue of canceled classes in colleges and universities across the country.
Students and parents pay large sums of money in the form of tuition with the expectation they are receiving services in exchange for money given to an educational institution.
When classes are canceled and not rescheduled, the entire concept of paying money to go to school at the post-secondary level is dramatically undermined. I feel there are simple, cost-effective methods that can be implemented to preserve the educational and financial integrity of both students and professors.
I honestly don’t like having snow days because we can’t make them up. I believe students should be able to make up these missed days because we are paying a lot of money for our education. Besides, how can we be successful in our classes if were not getting the full learning experience?
This brings the question of how professors should deal with snow days when it comes to adjusting the syllabus and the information that’s covered.
Some professors are approaching this problem by speeding through the material faster. Unfortunately, this makes it harder for the students to absorb all of the information in a shorter amount of time.
Additionally, professors can go over all of the material in a faster fashion and adjust their syllabi and exam dates to accompany the timeliness of the material. With adjustments, students can still learn everything they need to and won’t have to rush through the harder material.
Professors can also hold study sessions during their office hours to make up missed lectures. These days don’t have to be mandatory, but can be offered to students who want a more in-depth discussion than textbooks offer.
Professors should also make PowerPoints and other notes from lectures available for students to use on Canvas from missed days. This would allow students to access missed notes online.
Although these are good solutions to this problem, I believe the best thing for the professors to do is to offer online lectures.
Professors can record missed lectures using a recorder or webcam, which can be uploaded to Canvas. Students can then access lectures without having to leave their home or residence hall.
If the inclement weather impacts the day of an exam, students should be able to go on Canvas to take the exam.
These simple alternatives to physically being in a classroom can keep professors and students from being at the mercy of the weather.
We live in a society where social media and networking on the Internet are cornerstones of many people’s lives. Incorporating technology into the educational process can greatly enhance the college experience.
Junior journalism major
Printed in the 4/9/14 edition.