CSA Seeking Student Feedback on Respondus & Online Learning
Over the past 8 months, the University of Guelph as a whole has necessarily transitioned the vast majority of its course offerings online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This online transition includes many course aspects, including not just lectures and labs, but also many assessments that would have traditionally been an in-person quiz, midterm, or exam. There have been both negative and positive experiences with online learning but due to the disconnected nature of campus life this year, there is a lack of communication from students about what these effects have been.
Part of this lack of communication regarding online learning has been a result of students being on campus, but it is also partly due to students not being sufficiently consulted on how virtual learning & assessments have changed their university experience as a result of the time constraints related to its implementation. Despite this, the CSA has been listening to students about common problems they encounter.
One of the most common issues, according to Sean Mitchell, the CSA’s VP Academic, relates to the use of the Respondus LockDown Browser, which has been employed to ensure academic integrity during exams. Specifically, one of the most alarming issues with this assessment tool relates to allegations of racial bias that can result in BIPOC students being flagged for academic misconduct at higher rates than other students.
To collect feedback and comments about this, and other academic issues related to online learning, the CSA has distributed a short survey that aims to serve as a way for U of G students to anonymously their concerns to inform the CSA's activism. Any students who would like to provide further feedback or express other academic concerns are encouraged to contact Sean Mitchell, the CSA's VP Academic, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students can complete this survey by clicking here, which was also included in the CSA’s most recent e-newsletter, distributed to students via GryphMail on November 13th.