Course credits, class timelines need changes
February 22, 2007
The process of planning a class schedule and registering for classes is a grueling experience for students. Every semester we spend an extraordinary amount of time before registration even begins searching eSIS in order to fit classes into time slots and fill up the categories in our DARs as quickly as possible.
When registration opens, it is a mad dash for the seniors to fill all the classes pertinent to graduation. Underclassmen try as hard as they can, talking to professors and asking for exceptions in order to get into just one class that already filled up, though it fit just perfectly in their pre-planned schedule.
It never works out the way we expect, and when it does, it feels like there is always something to throw the perfect schedule right back where it started — blank.
Classes are designated a certain number of credits that appropriately matches the workload expectation for that particular class, yet at times, the amount of work doesn’t seem to add up with the credits allotted for a class. The number of credits help determine the hours of in-class time each student spends per semester as well as the number of weeks the class runs for.
Credits and course hours have discrepancies, which are unexplainable to students. For instance, why does a half-credit course that is supposed to run for the first half of the semester overlap with a similar class slated to run for the second half of the semester? Also, why does a two-credit class run for two-thirds making it impossible to take part in another class for the latter part of the term?
Credits, course hours and workloads vary from class to class and department to department. Even though the system is standardized in some way, it is impossible to determine how a student’s grade, participation and ability to simply withstand the class during their current semester compared to last, even though the number of classes and credits are identical. Yet, students are required to do more busywork in other classes than others with the credits and course level being the same.
As students, it’s frustrating to see an inconsistency in workload, amount of time spent in a class and credits varying all across the board because courses don’t all run according to a specific pattern, causing, in some cases, classes overlap.
Students are missing, opting out or simply substituting certain courses because that one class needed has an awkward schedule running through only half or two thirds of the semester. The outcome resulting in the frustrations of getting a students semester-load of courses to work perfectly will only result in a loss of education at UW-River Falls.
A much needed look into changing any consistency to course credits, workloads and timelines should be considered and done soon.