The biggest question on people’s minds at the moment is – is college too easy now? Are people passing the exams and the courses with too little effort? Studies have shown that the college students of today are having to spend much less time studying than their historical counterparts were; in many cases, the amount of study time per week has gone down by nearly a full ten hours, from twenty four hours a week to fifteen. Several students who were interviewed as part of the surveys admitted that they thought the workload would be heavier, and particularly that they thought it would be heavier than in school.
There are, of course, some counters to the arguments that college is becoming too easy – things like computers and other devices can save a lot of time and effort when it comes to study and research – the internet in particular can save a lot of time when doing research. There is also the problem of students now often having to take on a part-time job in order to live while at college, in consequence of the rising tuition fees. These two points stand against the critics of modern-day college students, who say that the reason for the reduction in studying is that students have grown lazy. This highlights the fact of rising popularity of various custom writing essay services such as essayzoo.org nowadays.
People have come up with any number of reasons to explain why college students may be studying for less time than they were before – the reasons range from problems with the professors\lessons, to problems with the students themselves.
Students are becoming much less of a fixture in libraries than they were, which is something that can be explained away by those libraries not being needed in the same way anymore. Even just a decade or so ago, students were in libraries every single day because they don’t need to libraries – information is readily available for free over the internet, particularly with Open Access becoming more popular in recent years. Of course, many people say that this is not an acceptable reason for the decline in study hours, because the ability of people to do this type of research from their individual computers is something which is a recent phenomenon, whereas studying hours were declining long before then.
Students give Feedback
One possible reason for the number of students who are now saying that college is much easier than they had thought is the introduction of feedback forms, where students can rate what they thought of a teacher and his or her teaching style.
Since this feedback can impact a teacher’s future career, it does make sense that college classes would become easier. If someone doesn’t like you or your teaching, they can easily take revenge by leaving bad feedback. Not many teachers are likely to take the chance of losing out on future career opportunities just to try and teach.
Teachers Don’t Care
As a corollary to the above reason, if a teacher cannot teach in the manner they might find most appropriate to the subject material for fear of student retaliation, then they might just give up. Studies have shown that many teachers have done just that – students have too much power, and the rewards aren’t worth it anymore.
Research is King
On the flip side, many colleges are now turning to where the real money lies: in research. Teaching does not generate much money over and above the tuition fees which are given by each student, and those are easily eaten up by teaching fees, heating for the rooms, custodial staff, and so on.
Research is where the real money lies, so colleges might be encouraging teachers to spend more time on generating that rather than on spending time teaching effectively.
Grades Have Been Deposed
Where before, people had to have the best grades possible if they were to hope to gain a specific job, now the requirements aren’t so strict. Employers are spending more time worrying whether or not their potential employees have extra-curricular activities, which demonstrate whether or not that person is able to be sociable, and will be a good fit in the company.
Changes in Grading
Classes have changed from the more usual types of letter grades, to a pass\fail dichotomy in many cases. This leads many students to the conclusion that they do not need to work that hard, since all they need to do is pass.
Wrapping it up
There are a number of reasons why college students are studying less these days than they used to, and these reasons can be anything from the changes in technology making it quicker and easier to do research (and also rendering it less immediately visible), to teachers having less power, and so deciding to make less effort. This does raise some uncomfortable questions for the future though, including questions such as: how do we know that our students are actually learning, in this case? Also, how did things come to this impasse?