Equal credit for equal work

by Staff Editorial

Normally, physical education is hard: climbing that torturous rope, running the mile, being the last one picked for dodgeball.

But in college, things start to change. Regular classes get harder, PE classes get easier. Well, at least some of them do.

Take, for example, the half-credit badminton course: Phye 101BD. The class meets for an hour and 15 minutes, Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the surface, this isn’t a problem. Certainly a class focused on learning a recreational sport like badminton shouldn’t be worth the credit as Eng 330: The Major Plays of Shakespeare.

However, when the work put in for a class like badminton is compared to the work put in for a one-credit class like the Zenith or Simpson Forum, a problem emerges.

Yes, students taking Zenith or Simpson Forum do earn twice as much credit as those taking a sports-learning PE course. But they do more than twice the work. Also, PE classes don’t begin meeting until the middle of the semester: Zenith and Forum are a whole-semester requirement.

Writers for the Zenith will spend many hours per month working on stories, taking photos, editing stories or designing pages. Truly involved students will spend countless hours working on the final project – probably spending more time on it than they do for many of their three-credit courses.

Simpson Forum also requires much more of a time commitment from students than do simple PE classes. The Forum program is during prime-time for students: These events are usually at night, a time when students are doing homework, relaxing or working.

The solution isn’t eliminating PE classes like badminton or basic swimming, and it isn’t even giving students even fewer credit for taking them. The solution is regaining the balance between effort put in and credit earned for other classes.

In short, Simpson should reevaluate it’s credits for a few key courses by looking at the time students truly spend on it, and reward them accordingly.