Students at Mercyhurst recently learned that, for the third semester in a row, finals would be conducted remotely. Unlike the two semesters before this one, students can still take their finals on campus, since graduation occurs just after finals end. However, students have different styles of learning, with some preferring to learn in-person while others are all right with remaining online. Lately, I’ve been all right with completing my finals online, and I think they’ve been beneficial for students because no one has to worry about being anxious around other students or their professors; instead, they can take their finals from the comfort of their dorm, apartment or home, and be in an environment they’re happiest in. Of course, there are benefits to taking finals online and in-person.
I have only taken one set of finals in-person, so the concept is still somewhat foreign to me, but online finals still appear to follow the same schedule. There’s still a day, Reading Day, dedicated to studying (but let’s be honest, are we really using that day to study?). This is then followed by four days of finals, unless there’s a unique exception where a final falls on Reading Day. This semester is a little different from others, though. Usually, semesters fall from Tuesday to Friday, with Reading Day being on Monday. However, this time, finals fall from Monday to Thursday, with Reading Day being the previous Friday. This is because the Friday after finals is supposed to be reserved for a day of activities for the outgoing seniors. Having finals online is definitely convenient, since there are plenty of students that are learning remotely this semester. Although they would be taking finals remotely regardless of whether finals on campus were in-person or online, all students could be at an advantage by being online.
On the other hand, students who learn better in-person might also prefer taking exams in-person as well. It’s an environment they’re familiar with, and oftentimes, finals are the last time students can see their friends in classes before they either transfer to another school or graduate. For me, I prefer learning in-person, but taking exams online has always been easier for me. As the world has continued to shift into a world heavily dependent on technology, being in an isolated area with my computer, such as my bedroom, is the ideal spot for me to complete an exam, rather than a classroom with lots of other students who are probably just as stressed and overwhelmed as I am. Moving forward, taking finals online seems like the ideal plan. Our future with the pandemic is uncertain, and we don’t know for sure when things will return to normal, so keeping finals online gives an even playing field to all students. As many students feel safer commuting to campus or learning remotely, keeping finals online will help alleviate any stress involved with traveling to campus to complete these exams. Since our world today is heavily influenced by technology, it’s best to adapt to the situation now so that we don’t have to face problems in the future.