Students in asynchronous classes learn lesson in time management

Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 11:34am

A student works on classwork in Angell Hall Thursday.

A student works on classwork in Angell Hall Thursday. Buy this photo
Megan Ocelnik/Daily

Students in asynchronous classes said the transition back to school has been especially difficult. Without a structured schedule and classes meeting regularly, students said they face a new challenge in managing their time.  

LSA sophomore Melanie Esterine, whose only synchronous classes are small discussions, said she struggled with procrastination at first while adjusting to the unconventional semester. 

“In the beginning, it was really difficult because I feel like when you don’t have a set schedule to stick with, you just do things whenever, and then you keep putting it off and then it becomes a mess,” Esterine said. 

Now that she has settled into the semester, Esterine has discovered a few tricks to help her stay organized and on track with her school work. 

“I’ve started to try and develop my own schedule that works best for me that consists of doing a lot of stuff on Monday and Tuesday and then maybe taking it easier on the other days,” Esterine said. “That’s been helping me a lot. I would say that I’ve gotten used to it now.”

LSA senior Dawson Wells said he has conflicting opinions about asynchronous lectures. Even though his asynchronous lectures have given him more independence, they also have some drawbacks. 

“Without having that structure built-in, it’s a lot harder to stay motivated and to stay caught up and not have a night where I have four lectures to watch before my exam,” Wells said. 

However, Engineering junior Carolyn Melvin said she is actually a fan of asynchronous classes. Having pre-recorded lectures allows her to watch them at both a convenient time and a suitable pace. 

“To be honest, the transition to asynchronous lectures has been better than expected,” Melvin said. “A lot of my classes in the past had recorded lectures which I have always liked because I can speed up or slow down the lectures.” 

 Since she is unable to see the other students and communicate with them, Melvin said she feels isolated while watching her asynchronous lectures.

“When it comes to interacting with other students in class, this has been much tougher,” Melvin said. “It is easy to feel alone in classes and not know how to get help.” 

LSA senior Tikvah Finn said she feels as though the workload is heavier with asynchronous classes, which are more difficult for her with the additional responsibility of watching over her child. 

“Virtual learning, as necessary as it is during this pandemic, has led to a significantly increased workload as a student,” Finn said. “Compared to a previous 17-credit, in-person semester, I have to spend more time watching virtual lectures and studying outside of class time during this 13-credit online semester.”

Music, Theater & Dance sophomore Andrew Kevic voiced the same criticisms as Finn. Kevic said he has also had more work this semester due to asynchronous lectures and virtual learning. Coupled with his other responsibilities outside the classroom, Kevic said he finds it challenging to manage his time. 

“I think it kind of changes the balance of my whole schedule, especially because I have work study and I have another job on top of that, so I have to really think about how I spend my time,” Kevic said. 

Kevic said even though asynchronous classes have made it more difficult for him to have a regular schedule, he has also found that there are some benefits. In learning how to better manage his time, Kevic said he has acquired a new skill. 

“It’s been a lot more of a challenge, but in ways it’s been more rewarding than last semester, especially since quarantine,” Kevic said. “I've noticed that I’ve had a lot more control of my time and I’ve been able to kind of shape my day, every day.”

Daily Staff Reporter Lily Gooding can be reached at goodingl@umich.edu.


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