The unprecedented shift towards remote leaning during the past year has called many academic practices into question. When considering the rigor of collegiate level education during previous years, the fact that a student is now able to take a shit while in discussion should serve as an indicator that educational standards have somewhat devolved. Now that the reality of in person classes is quickly approaching, experts are greatly concerned for the future academic output of the UW-Madison student body.
In response to these rising concerns, the university has proposed a handful of policy changes to help ease students back into a classroom setting; the primary suggestion pertaining to the use of Google during quizzes and exams. This recommended policy would allow for the unrestricted use of search engines during class, including important assessments. Given the current state of examinations from home, this policy seems less absurd than ever. One student commented on the proposal, stating, “If opening a Google tab during a quiz counts as academic dishonesty, then I’m definitely dishonest.”
During the pandemic, the internet and it’s subsequent search databases have proved to be inalienable tools when it comes to education. Students simply use the same resources they would have in a typical workforce environment, and apply them to education. Orwellian systems such as Honorlock impede on a students ability to apply valuable research skills to education and are just kind of creepy in general. However, this justifiable line of reasoning has been hijacked by students who are too lazy to watch pre-recorded lectures or attend online discussion anytime before 10 a.m.
An additional reason for this proposed change cited the considerable drop in class curves if the policy was not implemented. Strong support on behalf of the administration is based in the fear of reduced academic prestige; and the implications it has on the school’s general appeal towards aspiring applicants. A member of the UW-Madison administration — who chose to remain anonymous — stated, “Academic dishonesty holds no value over the out of state recruitment money that pays for our shiny new buildings. Roll Badge!”
Additional proposals have also made their way into the spotlight. Classroom features such as designated vape zones, in person mute buttons and Adderall feeding troughs are all being considered for the fall semester. The overall state of in-person classes remains unclear at this time, but the main takeaway for students attending in-person classes next semester is that the bar is on the goddamned floor.