Ignoring a problem until it goes away is a real speciality of mine, but occasionally, that strategy fails. In such harrowing times I switch to one of two approaches. In the first, I actually ‘deal’ with the issue and in the second I find a way to embrace the chaos and make it my own. So, what happens when both of these alternative tactics fail, too?
Over the last few weeks I, and many other students, have been subjected to a new experience: online lectures. For me, accessing basic things ‘online’ brings back nostalgic memories of my rural Irish youth with little to do around me except for an internet full of things to pass the time. Nestor is easy enough to use. What could go wrong?
Well, as it turns out, a lot can go wrong. It’s only week 3, but already I’ve had a lecture stream crash, another stream didn’t even start (until it was almost over) and recordings have disappeared afterward. It’s understandable though. Many academics are struggling to get to grips with the new technology and we all need time to adapt. But there is one simple thing they should change, now!
It’s truly infuriating to read every passing thought anyone might have in the chat
Please, for the love of God, turn off the chat during lectures. It doesn’t need to be on, ever. If someone wants to ask a question, or contribute, just have them click their ‘hand’ up and then turn on their microphone to speak, like we do normally. Letting everyone type out passing comments and press enter, putting it all right in our faces, is too chaotic and interrupts way more than it helps.
I love my course and colleagues, I do. But it’s truly infuriating to read every passing thought anyone might have in the chat or ask if something’s wrong with the stream or just their own Wi-Fi (spoiler: it’s the Wi-Fi). If chat is a must, why not just put us all in breakout chats? Then we can chat in a small group, like if we were sitting together. We can even ignore each other there too, just like real life.
Of course, that’s the practical solution that would actually ‘deal’ with the issue. But maybe I’ll just have to embrace the chaos and make it my own.
Besides, when else will I get the opportunity to ask 100+ people if my connection is slow or if it’s the professor’s?