I have recently signed myself up for another year at university. I had to fill out a bunch of forms online, confirm my details and then after all of that I was asked to complete a Google form just to REALLY make sure it was me! And it got me thinking about how unnecessarily complicated university-student communication is nowadays.
Like many of you I have an email address, but it wasn’t until I started at university that I developed the need to check my email on an almost hourly basis. Before that point I would log in, maybe once a week, sort through what had been sent to me and then reply to those emails I thought needed my immediate attention.
The problem was that this habit didn’t help me when it came to university-student communication. Within the first few weeks of my course, I started to realise that other people knew a lot more about what was going on than I did! But it made no sense to me, as I had attended every class and paid attention in all of them, making sure to take notes and write down those important “to do’s” in my diary. This is when I discovered that there was a lot of information being sent to students via email, via the university website, etc.
From that point onwards I made a concerted effort to check my student email on a daily basis and more often than not there was something important that I needed to make a note of. What frustrated me was the fact that there were many a teacher who would fail to mention important details in class, but then send an email to everyone 5 minutes after the class to announce said details. And I always wondered why on Earth they liked to complicate things so much. Would it not be easier to simply tell everyone the important news in class, whilst we were all seated and quiet? Why wait until afterwards to send an email, which would mean us all going home, logging on to the university website and checking our emails, only to receive information from a teacher we were with only 10 minutes previously!?
I can understand the benefits of using the Internet, when it comes to registering for the following year. As a student who studies at a university quite far away from home, I can say that it is a lot easier not having to do a massive long journey just to hand in some papers. But I don’t understand why we can’t reserve the old-fashioned way of communicating with our teachers and fellow students throughout the academic year. I mean we see each other on a daily basis, so really there is no valid reason why I have to spend my day glued to my laptop or phone, due to the almost constant stream of emails and notices sent my way from classmates, teachers and other university faculty. Surely it isn’t that hard to just announce something in class, or pin a piece of paper to a noticeboard outside the classroom.
But then again, a lot of people find the new system easier, so maybe I’m just old-fashioned!