I decided to enroll in an online class this semester because I am a busy person.
I go to school, edit the opinion page, chant meaningless cheers alongside my sorority cohorts, play club lacrosse for IU and watch “Stranger Things” on Netflix until my eyes fall out of my head. And sometimes I do my laundry.
As an English student enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, I am required to take four courses in natural and mathematical sciences. So here I am, enrolled in an online Introductory Psychology class.
I’ve heard good things about P101 from fellow non-science-enthused peers. Plus, the teacher had a hot pepper next to his name on ratemyprofessor.com… what could go wrong?
The answer is: many things.
At 10:10 p.m. Tuesday, I walked home past the stumbling herds of people headed to $2 Tuesday. My limbs were weak from an action-packed day, and all I wanted was a hot plate of nachos.
Upon arrival, I made said nachos, went up to my room, took off my pants — because, news flash, the best way to live life is sans pants — and sat down on my bed.
I opened up my laptop and started working on my Psychology course.
The course introduction was far less painful while seated comfortably on my bed instead of sitting in a concrete classroom that sort of resembles a prison complex.
The site worked seamlessly as I watched my slightly quirky teacher awkwardly ramble to a classroom full of empty seats.
Then I got to the section titled “Proctor U Practice Quiz” and everything went downhill from there. The practice was supposed to be an easy two-question quiz.
As I downloaded the test-taking application, I began to feel uneasy. My MacBook Pro, a clunky 2013 edition was quickly heating up and began to sound like a bomb whose impending detonation time was unknown.
At 11:25 p.m., my support session was established with Josh P., who politely wrote, “Hello, welcome to Proctor U. My name is Josh P. and I’ll be your proctor. May I borrow your mouse for a moment so I can activate our video session?”
This is the point where I questioned whether this was secretly the NSA hacking into my computer. Either that, or I mistakenly clicked on a porn website.
I typed “sure” into the chat box because I didn’t see any alternative.
Then this guy, who I assume was Josh P., popped up on my screen. Thankfully, the camera was aimed at my face, and Josh P. didn’t see that I wasn’t wearing pants.
Then, he asked me if I could show him my entire room. He probably thought I was doing a séance because I had 5 candles lit on my dresser.
After I showed him not one but two forms of identification, he wrote, “Your exam is 60 minutes long with 0 bathroom breaks. Do you understand and agree to the rules?”
“Right now? I thought I was just taking a practice quiz?” I wrote.
Josh P. assured me that they just gave extra time. The test took one minute, and when I finished, Josh P. wrote, “You weren’t kidding.”
We typed our goodbyes, and everything was fine, but the whole thing kind of rubbed me the wrong way.
I get that we can’t live off of the honor code, so these test-taking sites are necessary to ensure proper conduct.
But online classes that use this type of technology are supposed to make our lives easier. After last night, I’m not so sure it will simplify mine.