OPINION: Workload overkill


Jenna Hatcher

When the pandemic began, online learning became the new normal for students across the globe. Instructors have been loading on extra work for their students, trying to fit the entire curriculum into the new online format. Some teachers don’t realize that a lot of students are struggling to keep up with the pace, affecting their understanding of the material.

Depression, anxiety and stress have skyrocketed in college students due to social isolation and the introduction of online classes. Speaking to a computer screen instead of talking in person to peers and professors has also affected motivation among students. The overwhelming amount of workload given to students feeds into their mental health as well, worsening it. Adding on more assignments with the intention to help students understand the subject is actually hindering their ability to learn. Expectations have not changed for students as well, even though there is more quantity over quality.

Navigating virtual learning is a new experience for professors too. But, they have unintentionally made the mistake of cramming too much work into a short period of time. College schedules during the pandemic have changed as well, cutting spring and fall break. That is partly due to professors changing from in-person to online and trying to fit in the normal workload. Educators are compensating for the lack of the classroom, thinking that their students will be at a disadvantage. One can also argue that because of students’ mental health, they think the work they are given is too much and deviate from the tasks at hand. Professors might not even think about the other classes that students are taking, but on the other hand, students should know what classes they are signing up for and be prepared for the workload.

With the overload in work outside of online classes, there is a decrease in free time for students. Even if students are by themselves most of the time, having free time to do other activities besides schoolwork can potentially help their grades. Besides the extra work, students often find themselves having a hard time concentrating during class. Many classes have turned into a lecture environment. There can be other distractions that students can’t help, such as noisy siblings and animals. Some students are not fortunate to have an optimum working space, even having to help out at home when their families are struggling with the new changes. Others may not have access to wireless internet to come to class or complete assignments.

The new way of teaching has opened up the creation of more assignments for students, so that they can comprehend what they have learned. In reality, students are barely keeping up with the work teachers are giving them.

Some teachers and professors talk to their students to get their feedback about the coursework, and change things around because they know how much of a hard time students are having. Others are not as forgiving, and students’ grades start to dip down. Students want to succeed in their classes, but when extra work and high expectations are placed upon them during such a confusing time, there is a possibility of failure.