Extended winter break makes room for boredom, but not learning
February 14, 2013
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This past winter break felt a little different than previous years.
We’re not talking about the weather — while it was cold at times it was still that typical Pennsylvania winter.
We’re writing about how break was so much longer than normal.
So much longer.
Winter recess was once four weeks long. We got a month off to celebrate the holidays with family and to revamp for another semester of rock solid learning.
But SRU has now added two additional weeks to the break to squeeze in another semester of pseudo-classes, making the recess for those not enrolled in the winter’s online sessions seemingly drag on endlessly.
It’s all a matter of personal opinion of course, many students likely loved the extended time off and were even wishing for a few more days to sleep in, especially after that first 8:00 a.m. course.
But our staff felt winter break was far too long. Maybe we just wanted to get back to producing our weekly publication, but the two extra weeks seemed to endlessly drag on.
As personal boredom grew over break, we had plenty of time to sit and contemplate on whether this extra time off was really valuable. .
As stated, the university increased the winter session to allow for a full online semester of courses to be offered to students.
The idea seems okay for students trying to catch up on classes, assuming the course they need was one of the select few offered during the winter months, we certainly understand the university’s desire for the ability to charge the full price of a course taught in less than half the normal time all online. Talk about a cash cow.
But is the easy money really worth it?
There’s an age old debate — well, at least digital age old — over whether or not online courses hold the same value as their traditional classroom counterparts.
We think they can, for the most part, if done correctly.
But we have concerns over whether cramming a 15 week course into six weeks is “correctly,” especially since many students wouldn’t be able to pick their professor out of a lineup during that time.
The school has been offering similar summer courses in the past.
Our thinking is, why not cut winter session, shorten it, then add the two extra weeks onto a summer session and at least pretend like it is worth paying the same price for.
That way the majority of students that don’t have the cash to lay down on a winter course don’t sit around forever waiting to continue their education, while students looking to catch up or get ahead in coursework have a sufficient length in time to do so in the summer sessions.
Because we just don’t feel a course should be taught in such a short period of time.