Sunday, October 4, 2009

Six weeks into the semester and school has become a little overwhelming right now. Everything seems to happen at once. A quiz in Latin American Civ., a test in Ethics, a Spanish article to explain in class (in Spanish, of course), and now my first big exam over the British Empire. This is a seated class, but the test is entirely on blackboard. I guess even seated classes don't want to have tests in class anymore. Is it considered old-fashioned to take test in class?

I hate to say this because I'm afraid it makes me sound old, but things sure have changed since I first went to college 20 years ago. No one had home computers back then; papers were typed on a typewriter at home(mine wasn't even electric!) and turned in, or written during class in a bluebook. Do bluebooks still exist anymore?

Teachers can now send e-mail notification to their entire class at once, about class cancellations or upcoming assignments. Back in the day, you had to actually show up at class before you found out by the note on the door that it had been cancelled. I can find a class syllabus or exam review online and don't necessarily have to have a printed copy anymore. No need to waste class time watching an instructional video when you can find the link on Blackboard and watch it at home whenever you have time. It's also nice to be able to e-mail the teacher to let them know why you have to miss class and to find out about any missed assignments.

Even tests can be taken at the students convenience. We have a three day window in which to take the British Empire test. I just wish we had longer than an hour and 15 minutes. That just doesn't sound like enough time for me to write an essay.

Even finding research material for a paper has changed. No more going to the library and looking through a card catalog; it's not necessary to actually go to the library at all to find a book. Just go online to the school library website, find the books you need, and have them reserved. You will be notified via e-mail when they are ready to pick up. No, they still don't deliver, that is one thing that hasn't changed.


Caz said...

I agree, things certainly are different this time around! Things are "easier". One advantage of doing the test through blackboard is it mightn't be so stressful. Good luck with it!

Brandywine said...

Thanks! I agree, it is somewhat less stressful to take the test at home with books and notes rather than in class. A little less pressure.

Jennifer said...

I finished my undergrad in 1989, back in the day of electric typewriters and card catalogs, so I can totally relate! I'm in grad school at ASU studying journalism and added you to the blogroll for my blog about non-traditional students. Good luck!