It’s that time of the semester again.
The two-week grind of studying, writing papers, practicing presentations and stressing is upon us.
For most of us, this is the busiest and hardest part of the semester, but I’m here to say that it really shouldn’t be.
If you take a look at your syllabus, you’ll likely find that for most, if not all of your classes, you’ll have one big capstone assignment.
Maybe the assignment is to write 10 pages on a research topic, to make a 10-minute presentation or maybe even to construct a mock sales pitch.
On paper, this idea seems all well and good.
It’s the end of the semester so why not have the biggest and hardest assignment now to test all the knowledge we accumulated these past 14 to 15 weeks?
The answer is actually really simple.
We have more than just one class.
Many students at ESU take six classes a semester, if not more.
If each of their professors follows this wonderful idea of having a large capstone assignment at the end of the semester, that just means they get to be buried in a monumental amount of work that they have to finish in two or three short weeks.
So that 10-page paper you had for one class leads into the 15-page paper for another and so on.
The end result is that some students end up having 45 pages of research papers to write, two in-depth presentations with a 10-minute requirement and a five-page summary of various theories you’ve covered over the semester.
But, let’s not forget your finals either.
All that is just some supplementary work you have to do on top of your final exams.
Somewhere along the line, you have to find time to study too!
And all of it is expected to be done within these last two weeks.
I understand the fact that we’re taking college-level courses and, as a result, we have to produce college-level work.
However, I feel that there has to be an easier way than pushing large sums of work upon us.
The fact of the matter is, we demonstrate our ability to produce intellectual material for our classes every day.
There should not be a need to assign long, tedious and boring work so that our professors feel we are being challenged.
I don’t mind if a professor opts to do a paper or presentation rather than a final exam, but if they’re going to do so, then at the very least they should ensure that the assignment isn’t too long or give more time for it to be completed.
And certainly don’t assign both a paper or presentation and a final exam.
College courses are hard enough as they are.
We don’t need a sudden ramp up in difficulty at the end of the semester.
We have multiple classes and other responsibilities, such as jobs, to attend to as well.
Balancing everything as they are is already hard enough for so many people here at ESU.
There just simply isn’t a need to make it any harder when we’re so close to being done.
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