Help change BIOL252L structure and expectations for UNC-Chapel Hill students

Help change BIOL252L structure and expectations for UNC-Chapel Hill students

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UNC 252L changes started this petition to UNC Biology Department- Anatomy and Physiology

With all of the chaos surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that BIOL 252L (Anatomy Lab) at UNC-Chapel Hill should not be made more complicated than it was previously.  Many students are currently struggling with enormous hardships such as unemployment, worries about their loved ones, paying bills, and relocating after housing shutdowns--to name just a few of many examples.  Students are already struggling; adding extra academic stressors and hardship by increasing the difficulty of exams and creating extreme time constraints is cruel. For these reasons, we designed this petition to persuade the instructors of BIOL 252L to reconsider their new course structure and expectations. 

The creation of this petition was motivated by the plethora of social media and group message posts from BIOL 252L students expressing their anxieties and frustrations with the insanely tricky “mini-exams.”  Many students reported doing very well on the first in-class exam this semester, but then failing the new “mini-exam”; lab instructors have already taken notice of this and added a few extra minutes to the remaining “mini-exams.”  They are even allowing a re-take of the first “mini-exam” due to a large number of non-passing grades. In general, the transition from in-person to online should not warrant this degree of difference in the difficulty of this course.  We do not believe it is for the instructors to make this course increasingly strenuous because these expectations require knowledge far out of the scope of the class to succeed -- especially in comparison to expectations from other semesters.

Although there has been talk of a curve in the class, we do not feel that these are adequate solutions to rectify the difficulty of this course.  The mini exams should not be as difficult as they are now, as they are producing unhealthy amounts of distress and anxiety for the students of this class, even if there are promises of a curve in the future.  The uncertainty around this curve -- when? how much? -- is only adding to the immense stress and anxiety surrounding this course. 

Changes need to be made to the new structure and expectations for this course. The toll it is clearly taking on the students in this course is way too serious to not address. 

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