With the university handling new forms of teaching in light of COVID-19, many classes have been moved to an online format due to safety for the professors and students. Because of this unexpected transition, fewer guidelines were placed on class procedures.
Some professors chose to have weekly Zoom lectures or discussions in lieu of the in-person classes, but many other professors chose to get rid of the lectures and discussions altogether. This leaves the students with potentially prerecorded videos and little to no communication with those professors.
“It was frustrating,” said Grayson Chapman, a sophomore child and family services major from Sweetwater. “I ended up not doing good in that class at all and felt like I had no help.”
“One class didn’t even have videos,” said Haylee Batey, a graphic design major from Abilene. “It only had emails with the agenda for the week and Powerpoints. It severely hurt my grade.”
ACU prides itself in “exemplary teaching… that inspires a commitment to learning.” They value their students being “sharpened and refined by their interactions with faculty and peers” (acu.edu).
These goals were obviously not met in many classes. It feels like the commitment to learning has been lost when several of my classes had no teaching at all. Additionally, lack of interaction — whether online or in-person — leads to lack of connections between professors and students.
It was incredibly hard to form relationships with my professors who chose to not lecture. There was never a single live interaction that I experienced with them. Can ACU continue to claim exemplary teaching when the interaction between students and professors, even through Zoom, has been lost?
Every student who chose ACU understood that by choosing a private university their tuition would not be cheap, but the rewards would be worthwhile. Tuition for each academic year is estimated around $37,000 before room and board.
Breaking this down, each student is paying about $3,000 for each class they take at ACU. Should students be paying that much for classes in which the teaching and communication is lacking? With so many options of higher education available it seems that attending a university with online learning at a significantly cheaper price or a public university with provided zoom lectures would be a better bargain for your dollar. If ACU wants to continue to charge high prices, they must continue to provide worthwhile benefits.
With unexpected issues that arose due to COVID-19 many professors feel the need to teach in a safer environment of online learning. While understandable, the amount of communication and instruction should not be lacking.
As a student directly affected by this, I wanted to do something to promote a change for the current situation. As 2020 has shown us, using our voice can promote actual change in important matters. That is why I have created a petition to mandate that when a class is held online, professors must provide zoom lectures and better communication. If you agree that this is a problem and are seeking better guidelines for online classes at ACU, please sign this petition and share it with your friends on social media. We can bring change to our school together for the betterment of our education!
Please share your experiences from the fall semester in my petition linked below:
Morgen Maltby is a junior accounting major from New Braunfels.