Quarantine grading system: Students respond

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Senior wildlife biology major Chloe McClenehan expresses appreciation for her professors as they work hard to accommodate student needs.

Kelly Stiles, Features Editor

In response to student and faculty concerns about grades during the trials of social distancing, on March 31, president Elaine Kneebone sent an email to all students regarding the implementation of an adjusted grading system.

 

This grading system allows professors and students the power to decide collectively if individual courses should be forgoed for the remainder of the semester. The cancellation of classes would leave these students with an incomplete on their transcripts. Details regarding students would have to retake the courses completely or be given an opportunity to finish said courses is up to professors due to differing circumstances.

 

“We are already past the halfway mark,” senior business and organizational communication major Briana Fricks said, “all the work that I have done could mean nothing.”

 

On the eve of her college graduation, Fricks is concerned about her grades and that of her friends due to these changes. She is glad that students are staying safe because of social distancing, but she is not in favor of the abundance of change it has caused. Fricks mentioned that a live video forum about this new grading implementation may be able to answer some questions and concerns that she and other students have.

 

“If half of this class that I am paying for is knocked out, then that’s half the information I don’t get to learn for my future job,” senior wildlife biology major Chloe McClenahan said.

 

McClenahan is thankful that one of her classes is on hold and continuing next semester. About half of the activities included in the course wildlife management techniques require traveling to Henderson’s field house. For this reason, professor of biology, Dr. Tommy Finley, decided that it would be best to continue teaching this course after the quarantine is lifted.

 

“For classes that have a lot of hands-on work, I think an incomplete may be best because it gives you an opportunity to learn the rest of the information,” McClenahan said.

 

McClenahan thinks that postponing the remainder of a firsthand driven course is fair. However, she does not think that students should have to retake an entire course that they are over halfway through. Though she knows challenging circumstances cause tough decisions, she expresses that students should at least be compensated the money it would cost to take the course again.

 

“It’s a weird time right now, and everyone just has to cooperate,” McClenahan said.

 

As most classes shift online, students are navigating, what is for many, a new way of learning. Students are responsible for motivating themselves to get assignments completed without the face-to-face encouragement from professors.

 

“This is a good moment for homeschoolers,” McClenahan said. “Homeschooling taught me to teach myself information without relying on teachers as much.”

 

McClenahan believes that in some ways her classes are easier from home. Though she has about the same amount of work, she is able to watch and replay lectures while taking notes at her own pace. Having been homeschooled her whole life, McClenahan is well-adapted to learning at home, making the lack of a classroom less of a problem.

 

“I appreciate my teachers working with me, and I hope that professors in all departments are doing the same with their students,” McClenahan said.