I recently discovered – and by recently, I mean last week – that I had the power to open my online classes BEFORE the official start time of tomorrow night at midnight.
The first two weeks of last semester were a cluster. A new text book, new website, nonexistent instructions for how to set things up and how to let students register for the website made for major frustrations on both sides of the desk. I was ready to throw in the towel the second day, to the point where I had to shut down the computer and walk away for 24 hours. I had more emails from students in one day than I normally have in a semester. And let me tell you – students these days are incredibly empowered to say any bloody thing they want to a professor, and take attitudes that I would never have even considered as a student. I suspect, strongly, that they know that we are basically powerless to do much about it, the slightest hint of a snarky reply will ensure an hour or two of discussion with the Dean about being a)unprofessional, b) our students are customers and hence, always right and c) don’t do it again or you won’t have a job because adjuncts are the low people in the college hierarchy.
The chance to open things early, get them possibly registered before the rush of incoming students crashes the website, was like a gift from the gods. I sent off an email to my students, then took the plunge and opened those babies up. It seems to have worked, they’ve started trickling in and managing to get registered on the textbook’s website and dare I hope for a better start this time around?
My hopes are not often turned into reality these days. Maybe this will be the exception