Gsu switching to pass/fail grading system

Gsu switching to pass/fail grading system

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Jenna Truong started this petition to Georgia State Undergraduate Department

 A Pass/Fail grading system would be greatly beneficial to the students at GSU in consideration of their mental health, stress levels, and success in these historic and unprecedented times.

 The first most important and major issue deals with mental health. During this stressful and unprecedented time many students are probably feeling very overwhelmed due to the coronavirus pandemic. As we know this pandemic is an evolving situation in our world that has affected everyone’s lives. Given the fact that obtaining an education and dealing with classes itself is already a major stressor, our current world situation adds onto that burden which increases a concern for students' mental health. I think that in order for students to perform well they must obtain a mental clear mindset. However, during this specific circumstance, it is very difficult to obtain that positive and active mindset when students are being forced into such a sudden transition into online school and isolation within their homes.

 We must also take into account that in the midst of all these problems, we are now dealing with an economic crisis. During this time, many businesses and restaurants are forced to close down in order to honor social distancing among people. We as a nation are living in unprecedented times. Students are not relaxed due to this abnormality. They are on the edge of their seats during this unknown period of time. 


 Another aspect worth mentioning is that students have had to make extremely hasty and unexpected decisions regarding living spaces, travelling, food, and necessities. With such a sudden change from living on campus to being required to move home in such short notice due to the university being closed, students have had to experience such a rapid, stressful and unexpected transition. Students have already had to experience the stress of classes and assignments, but now on top of that they have been introduced to an unimaginable surplus of stress added onto their daily lives. Therefore, due to this unexpected series of circumstances, I personally believe that it is not an unreasonable request to ask you all to think of the students and their health when it comes to making such a decision that will greatly benefit the lives of students in relieving some of their stress and helping their mental health issues by moving to a Pass/Fail grading system.


 The second point I think is worth considering is that due to this unexpected crisis, the school has had to result in closing down and moving classes and lectures to an online format. This has caused the entire learning and testing structure to be reformed. Transitioning to online school with an entire new structure midway through the semester without any prior sign of informality is quite unexpected and rather unpredictable! When it comes to grades, I am sure that you all know that the majority of students tend to care very much about their academic standing. With all of this rapid change and unpredictable circumstances, many students are struggling to transition and learn the online system of schooling when they are given such a short notice! Plus, having school online reduces many benefits. School online does not provide students with the ability to have easy access to their professors. As you know, everything explained in person is easier to understand. Because of this specific circumstance that option has now been removed. Online learning also prevents students from studying with their peers. Studying alone can be effective, but statistics have proven that group studying benefits when it comes to learning. 

As you know, we all are enrolled at gsu because we all were planning to experience college and classes in person! However because of this unexpected circumstance online school is necessary for this period of time even though most students do not prefer it. Students focus better in the classroom when they are able to experience lectures in person. At home or wherever students are required to go now due to the university closing, there are most likely to be distractions which can derail a student’s success path. When I state this, I feel like most people can relate to home distractions such as family members being loud, no internet connection at home, etc! The list of distractions is endless! When students were at school, they were able to work freely without those distractions being a burden. Being able to see other students' work also adds onto their motivation which allows them to remember to be accountable of their workload rather than spending their time unwisely. 

Also, online classes require students to create their own schedule. This is particularly difficult for students to manage if they are used to having their schedule written for them. Students who are not wise with managing their time and not motivated to complete their work at home due to all of these tragic circumstances will most likely fall behind in the course material or curriculum resulting in them not being able to succeed as much as they normally would.


 I am positive that you've seen how much kids care about their grades nowadays. For students who take the traditional route, college is their chance to work hard. College and an opportunity at an education is so crucial in order to be successful  and informed in today’s world. Students are expected to succeed in order to be able to obtain a degree, apply for a job, and make an income for their life. With some of these challenges that students have had to face unexpectedly this semester, I believe that the Pass/Fail grading system would be extremely beneficial in aiding students while pursuing their degrees during this academic journey. By resulting in this decision, the undergraduate board of GA state would not only relieve some academic  stress for students enrolled in classes, but it would also create some balance in this unfair situation that has affected us all as a nation. 


 We should also take into account that by now, many schools have already shifted to the Pass/Fail grading system. Some of these schools in the US include MIT , Harvard, Northwestern University etc. The list goes on and on! If other Colleges have already taken the initiative to transition to this Pass/Fail Grading for the rest of the academic semester then gsu should give that option to students as well. At the end of the day it all just comes down to the students and the staff at gsu and what decision is most beneficial in order to help our university succeed and thrive as a whole and I believe that the Pass/Fail grading system will be a beneficial change for all of us during this season due to all of these reasons I have listed above.

 

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