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Opinion: Hold professors to a deadline

As students return for the fall semester of classes, they must learn and adjust to new peers, policies and professors. With every new semester there are new struggles that students must adapt to so they can succeed academically.

USC students arrive on the first day of class with a syllabus full of expectations and rules that they must follow to maintain their place in the classroom and keep their grades up. We are expected to have perfect attendance, complete homework assignments, create presentations and turn in our work on time, just to list a few.

If students fail to follow the instructions set up by the professor, there are consequences that usually involve deducted points and a lower grade. However, there are no regulations placed on professors for returning work or posting grades in a timely manner.

Students are sometimes left waiting for grades weeks at a time, and that’s if they even get posted on Blackboard. While Blackboard isn’t the easiest to use or navigate through, professors should have an obligation to their students to allow them to view their grade in a timely manner.

As I approach the end of my college career, I have noticed an increase of professors either taking too long to post grades on Blackboard or just not posting any grades at all until a final grade is calculated at the end of the semester. Knowing your standing in classes is very important while working your way through a college course. It allows students to gauge whether they are putting in enough effort or if they need to step up their game to finish the semester strong.

If a final is optional, as many are, a student needs to know what their grade is so they know whether they need to study to bring up their grade or are satisfied with the grade they already have. Finals week is stressful enough without having to worry about studying for an exam that they won’t even have to take.

Students should have a clear understanding of their grade throughout the entire semester to succeed and thrive in their classes. Having no idea what your grade is until the end of the semester is severely damaging to the experience of college students.

The university should have some sort of policy that holds professors as accountable as they hold students. Work turned in punctually by students should have a time limit for grading and being returned to the student. Students should be able to reference this timeline and hold professors to their own standards of timeliness.

Many of my professors have said their schedule for students to turn in work is just there to help keep students up to date and on track with the class, and if this is true, then maybe they should have the same process of due dates to give back graded assignments and enter scores into Blackboard.

Teachers should be held responsible for being timely in returning and entering in their students’ grades. If thousands of students that are often years younger than them can do it, then surely it is possible for professors to practice the same punctuality.

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