Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have had to return home and, as a result, it has been harder for some students to get work done to the best of their ability.
“It seems like it takes more time to do the work when I get the energy to do it,” Kyra Washington, an architecture major said. “Like with math, I used to be able to just get it out of the way, but now all that I have is myself to teach me, and I have my own time to do it, it’s hard to find the energy to get started. But once I get started, it just seems to take hours for simple problems.”
To a lot of students, it may feel like there is more work to be done on top of the added stress of being at home.
“As an electrical engineering major, my course load for certain classes hasn't gotten too difficult rather than just plain tedious,” Christian Clout, 20, said. “The work hasn't gotten harder, but what's asked of us in certain classes has been increased slightly than what's normal.”
Clout continued by saying school takes away from being at home and that a lot of the work is irrelevant.
“There's just things that need to be done in both school and the homestead, but school ends up outweighing home in terms of the schedule,” he said. “One of my classes is similar to a lab, but without the in-class atmosphere, we are now being directed to review the source material online without a more hands-on view that would more directly relate to the course.”
For professors, it is hard to know what students are struggling with and why.
“It’s actually a little hard to tell how students are doing since my only immediate feedback is in the work they turn in,” Sarah Smith, a French professor and graduate student said. “There’s no natural ‘checking in’ before class like with the in-person class. The students who do not complete the assignments rarely offer a reason why.”
Smith offered a variety of reasons why both students could be having a difficult time managing their coursework from home. For instance, they might not have a quiet space to work. Or there might be a timing issue with other courses.
She also said professors might be assigning too much work.
“One big tendance in classes is to underestimate the time it will take students to complete activities,” she said. “Professors seem to want to fully replace the entire class, period, either with synchronous learning (zoom), or a collection of asynchronous activities, that end up taking students way longer than the professor even intended.”
However, it could also be that students are not used to doing this much work on their own at home.
“Students don’t realize how much they actually are learning and absorbing in class so when the brunt of that is put on the students at home, they don’t know how to react and feel like it’s ‘way more work’ when they’re just asked (in many cases) to do at home what they have been doing on campus,” Smith said.