Most universities are making decision on how to handle this semester and rising number of COVID cases. Almost all are acknowledging that their best efforts will fail to prevent the spread on campus. It is highly likely that students will be impacted by the end of the semester. I’m not suggesting that each student will get COVID, but it is likely a friend, family member, or instructor will and that will have an impact on the student’s performance.
This is a good time to make it easier for students to work ahead. It is much easier to work ahead than it is to catch up once one is behind. Faculty can make this easier by:
- Open all assignments the first of the semester.
- Eliminate busy work or redundant assignments.
- Provide exam study guides the first of the semester to facilitate better preparation.
- Respond to emails quickly.
- Make office hours productive and flexible.
Students can be proactive by:
- Asking faculty to make all assignments available.
- Setting up a schedule the beginning of the semester to get work done.
- Setting aside one extra hour a day for reading and homework.
- Working collaboratively with classmates to share notes and create study groups (online or in small masked groups).
- Doing easier assignments quickly and don’t put them off.
- Being an active participant in group projects.
- Going to office hours – most students do not take advantage of this and it is a good way to quickly identify shortcuts, priorities, and get help.
Faculty and students need to remember that good health begins with good nutrition, adequate sleep, regular exercise, and mindfulness. Even though we are all sick and tired of COVID-19 we do need to remember the basics of good health. Stay safe, wear a mask, and do not hesitate to politely hand an extra mask to someone not wearing one or point out that it has slipped done below their nose. This should be as easy as point out when someone has food on their face or toilet tissue stuck to their shoe. It is the only polite thing to do.