To all asynchronous professors: we are drowning

Caitlyn Dieckmann

cdieckma@uccs.edu 

     For the purposes below, I must make a claim that I do not believe the University will agree with me on, but that does not make it untrue. It is still the beginning of the semester, however, and though I am starting to be swallowed by water, maybe our professors can still salvage these courses.  

     Asynchronous classes are an attempt by professors to throw more information at us and take up more time than what is normally allowed in a hyflex, hybrid, synchronous or in-person alternative. This is true in the majority, so I apologize to those few professors who have adapted their asynchronous classes to be manageable. 

     Typically, lecture and discussion combined can swim within two hours and forty minutes. Students can then breathe in the current of assignments we are additionally expected to spend an average three hours of homework on for one single class.  

     However, asynchronously speaking, a two hours and forty minutes long recorded lecture is a tidal wave. We, as students, must pause the lecture to take notes, dragging us into three hours plus of lecture time.  

     Our fingers are wrinkled from too much water exposure by the time we take part in our required discussions, which are separate from the lecture time. 

     We cannot forget, as students, we must also do the “homework,” I.e. another three hours of reading, writing and critical thinking (busy work) done outside of lecture time. 

     This means we are doing four to five hours of what was supposed to be in-class work, and only getting three credit hours for it.  

A stressed out student sitting in front of her laptop.
Stock photo courtesy of PixaBay.com

     For a school that claims to care for its students’ education, it seems that the university took the easy way out in this case.  

     For the professors who chose the asynchronous format but do not allow lectures and discussion, collectively, to reach far past the credits we are due, I commend you. However, I regret to inform you that you are far and few between.  

     For the professors who chose the asynchronous format and are pushing work onto students to, for once, meet every single inch of the material that you can never reach during a “normal” format… shame on you.  

     Or, maybe, professors are not information crunching. Maybe they are trying to compensate for being in an online format. Possibly, professors felt this would be far easier than meeting at a scheduled time, synchronously. The latter is worse. 

     It could even be that some professors are piling the work on unintentionally. Either way, the university and a majority of professor’s small regard for our education seems to be faltering in the waves of COVID-19, an already challenging time for us.  

     I cannot stress this enough, but we are drowning in an ocean of work that was washed upon us by your own selfish reasons, or even your unknowing intentions. It is easier for you to float if we are thrown overboard, is it not? It sure looks like it from down here.  

     Regards,  

     The shipwrecked students who you pretend to teach from the safety of your lifeboats.