BY THIJS FENS EN RENÉ HOOGSCHAGEN
Classes taught at the law and behavioural and social sciences (BSS) faculties in block 4 will no longer be available online through a live-stream. The faculties are doing this in a bid to get students to come back to class.
Even with the relaxed Covid restrictions, class attendance has been particularly poor over the last few months. ‘Too few students are showing up in class’, says BSS vice-dean Klaas van Veen.
He thinks the fact that classes are live-streamed is one of the most important reasons for this. ‘That’s what students are telling us. They say it makes it easier to combine classes, or they stay home because the weather is particularly nice or bad.’
Dean Wilbert Kolkman at the Faculty of Law says they’re returning to the situation as it was two years ago. Lectures will still be recorded. ‘We won’t make them continuously available: only in the week the lecture is taking place and a week before the exam.’
Brend Hopman, student member and chair of the BSS faculty council, is happy. ‘As long as it’s all feasible, this seems like a good decision. I think it’s the best way to get students to come back to campus.’
‘I think this will benefit the quality of education’, says vice-dean Van Veen. ‘It’s better, improves interaction between students, and it’s just more fun.’
‘Live-streams really only help if someone’s actually sick’, says Jana Knot-Dickscheit, associate professor at BSS. ‘I’ve noticed that the live-streams make it extremely easy for people to stay home. My colleagues tell me the same.’
Classes will still be recorded. ‘I did that even before the pandemic and my students were always appreciative’, she says. Hopman thinks it’s a good idea, too. ‘You could put them online two weeks before the exam, for instance, so students can go over them again.’
Law lecturer and faculty council member Frank Veenstra refers to the civil law lecture last month for which the faculty had rented out a room in the Pathé theatre. Of the predicted thousand students, only around twenty showed up. ‘Awful’, he says.
Veenstra is happy with the new rule. He wasn’t a fan of endlessly available online classes to begin with. ‘I would argue that we should stop doing it altogether in the new year.’