Waking up in the middle of the night, face glued to the cold sticky pages of your textbook, hair greasy, eyes bloodshot, but still 60 more pages to go before class tomorrow. Why should we accept this as a given for students wanting to better themselves through education? I would like to propose that the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara enact a policy that prohibits instructors from assigning more than one hour of take-home work and/or 30 pages of reading per class per day. I predict that with this simple enforcement, a plethora of benefits will come to light, for students, instructors, and even the community.
More sleep has time and time again been associated with better physical and mental health. More time might mean the ability to comfortably hold a part time job, build lifelong friendships, and even take on more school! We have all tried to keep up with our workload for at least the first week or two of every quarter/semester, but quickly become discouraged when it is just too much. I believe if we give students a realistically attainable goal, we will increase student motivation and thus performance. Instructors would see the benefits of this as well, as students tend to participate more if they’ve read the material and feel confident they were able to properly prepare. With students taking four classes on average, that would still amount to four hours of reading per day. With most students returning home at around five in the evening, that would mean they could be in bed by nine at the earliest, assuming they didn’t eat dinner nor take a single break. I think this is still a preferable alternative to the current way things are done at this institution and would benefit every member of the community.