Opinion: Students’ lives not always considered with online coursework

By Megan Miras.

There are six quizzes due online, a paper to be submitted via Blackboard, three articles to be researched and written, and an online test. I have no Internet.

My typical day consists of getting up around 6:15 a.m. to get ready for school and work, wake my daughter up, feed her breakfast and get her ready for school and daycare, take her to daycare, and then I’m off to class. My classes are back-to-back, and then I go straight to work. I have to rush from work to daycare to pick up my daughter, sometimes another stop to get another kid, then straight home to feed them dinner, bathe them, and put them to bed.

I am stuck at home until the morning. How am I to get all of this homework done? I have no problem working on homework after the kids are in bed, but I don’t have Internet, and I have absolutely no time throughout the day.

Many instructors have become very dependent upon technology. They expect you to conform to the ever-changing world. Papers can’t just be typed and printed; they have to submitted via Blackboard. Tests and quizzes can’t be taken in class; they have to be done online, and at a certain time for some. Homework assignments for many classes are done online now instead of out of a book.

The price of books is going up, which is disgusting when so many things are done on the Internet. Instructors expect students to study two to three hours per credit hour outside of class, and then they assign quizzes and tests online instead of in class. This does not help students to retain information. These are open-book quizzes and tests, so students are not studying as hard.

DMACC offers a daycare for those with children. It typically has a wait list and is more expensive ($162.50 per week full-time) than other daycares, and it is not open as long. It requires you to pick up your child by 5 p.m. The computer lab is only open until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, until 4 p.m. on Fridays, 2 p.m. on Saturdays, and closed Sundays. Children are not allowed in, and there is no other childcare area on campus to use.

Many instructors expect students to check their email a few times a day. How did instructors communicate with students before email was so prevalent? They expect us to be prepared when we come to class; they should be prepared to give out assignments in class. They should not be allowed to send an assignment via email the night before it is due and expect students to have it completed.

DMACC needs to realize it is a community college, not a university. A lot of students are busy working, have families, are poor, or all of the above. We attend a community college because there is something in our lives preventing us from attending a university.

If DMACC realizes there are students with families relying on a daycare, they should create more child-friendly facilities with more accommodating hours, and lax up on the Internet requirements. Make it an option, not a requirement. At the very least, perhaps they can make an arrangement with an Internet provider to provide low-cost air cards for students in the bookstore.

Yes, it is 2013, but please DMACC, make some accommodations for us somewhere.

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