Press Perspective: Is the eight-period schedule beneficial to students?

The Press Perspective is an editorial written to express the opinions of all editors and staff writers on the Patriot Press. Each issue the staff comes together to discuss a topic and share their opinions, which later get compiled into the Press Perspective.

2020 has been the year of big changes. A pandemic, a forced shift to online school, and even a schedule change. But was the schedule change really worth it? Does it help students be more successful?

Well, the answer to that is a little different for everybody. Many students aren’t fans of the new schedule. Students admit that having eight classes in one day is stressful and emotionally exhausting, especially because passing periods aren’t long enough to recharge. Some students go so far as to say that the ten-minute breaks are a waste of time, being that they are too short to do anything productive and yet too long to justify logging onto the next class. 

Others claim teachers are giving too many homework assignments with too quick of a turnaround, not to mention keeping classes going past their allotted time. The combination of these factors results in an unmanageable workload for students, especially on days with eight classes. Another struggle Liberty patrons are facing is the shortness of periods, forcing students and teachers alike to switch gears constantly between different classes, thus making time management difficult. One student even compared it to a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout: exhausting because of the repeated short bursts of rigorous activity, but offering a large variety of exercises, or classes.

Still, the eight period schedule isn’t without its perks. The variety that the eight-period schedule provides is actually a feature many students appreciate. Students and teachers like consistently being able to see each other three times a week because they see each other more often and learn all subjects for the equal amounts of time each week. 

Likewise, the condensed eight-period days make it easier for students with short attention spans to stay engaged. This allows students to participate more since they are constantly going to new classes and are never in a class long enough to get bored. Another feature students appreciate is the new Wednesday schedule. It allows them to catch up on homework assigned in the beginning of the week and also gives students more freedom to budget their time.

Even so, students have mixed feelings on the new schedule, most of those feelings being negative. Students say that they would enjoy eight period days if they had more time to work asynchronously and spent less time on Zoom. Others suggest asynchronous hybrids, with a few minutes of instruction time per class and teachers leaving the remainder of the time for students to work. Many students also wish teachers would enforce having cameras on in Zoom classes to keep the class engaged and more likely to pay attention, especially in breakout rooms.

 Overall, students want a more interactive experience with lessened screen time. If these changes could be made, perhaps more people would support the schedule. Students may even be more motivated and attentive in their classes.