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Most Professors Aren’t Computer Whizzes. In the Remote Learning Age, This Reality Hurts Students Most

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

Would you be shocked to find out that your physics professor knows a ton about photons and quarks, but not much about ProctorU, barriers to internet access, or remote learning in general?

Too many students are discovering their professors' blind spots the hard way. More than 72% of students participated in remote learning in Fall 2020, and today, remote learning has an ongoing place in the American education system. Yet, many professors have done little to adapt their in-classroom approach to the realities of remote learning.

Remote Testing Has Put the Burden on Students

Testing in a classroom setting is simple. For the most part, a student can simply show up on time, receive their test, and complete it. Despite all of its benefits, remote learning puts a far greater burden on the student. Taking a remote exam may require a student to:

  • Find an internet connection strong enough to support web pages, proctoring software, and video streaming (if the exam involves video)
  • Find a quiet, secluded room free of other people—this is a common requirement of remote proctoring services
  • Provide lighting that meets a proctoring service's criteria
  • Take other steps required by a professor, remote proctoring service, or university

A recent article from EdScooprecent article from EdScooprecent article from EdScooprecent article from EdScoop explains how remote proctoring services lack nuance. These services can't accommodate a student with a slow internet connection or a broken webcam. Instead, Proctorio, ProctorU, and other remote proctoring services may penalize the student for circumstances beyond their control.

In the worst cases, students may be falsely accused of cheating or may fail a crucial exam because of flaws in remote testing and proctoring software.

Say your internet suddenly goes out, or a glitch in a remote proctoring service prevents you from logging into your exam. Do your professors have contingency plans when these things happen?

For most remote learners, the answer is “no.” This has to change.

Professors Must Be More Proactive

The term “reasonable accommodations” generally applies to students with disabilities. It's become clear, though, that professors must implement reasonable accommodations for all remote learners.

To account for internet deficits and outages, software glitches, and other perils of remote learning, professors may:

  • Be flexible in testing times and dates, allowing students with legitimate interruptions to retake exams on a limited basis
  • Distribute grades across several assignments so that a single exam—and any problem that interferes with that exam—does not have an outsize impact on a student's grades
  • Employ essays and other assignment types to mitigate the issues that are common to timed, proctored remote exams
  • Employ an open-door (or email) policy for students to voice their concerns about a remote learning curriculum

Many teachers have familiarized themselves with the proctoring software that their students use. Those professors understand the flaws with such software and may have a more empathetic view towards their remote pupils.

The imperfections of remote learning beg for creative solutions. Professors who seek and employ those solutions will deliver the best remote learning experiences to their students—avoiding innumerable conflicts and headaches as a bonus.

Attorney-Advisor for Remote Learning Problems

Have flawed testing conditions harmed you academically or personally? Have you been accused of academic misconduct in a remote learning environment? Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento can help with your remote learning issue.

Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case. We specialize in student issues nationwide.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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