Could clocking in and out be a thing of the past? Photo courtesy of Flickr user mwichary and licensed under CC 2.0Today’s guest post comes from Stefan Knapen, a sophomore medical student at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, and founder of Interestingly enough, Dutch students go to medical school straight out of high school, so I’m sure Stefan is familiar with balancing a full agenda.  Here are his thoughts on how technology may soon do away with the rigid class schedules we all endure.

Will the 9-5 working schedule of students keep excisting? When you look at trends in the employement-world, you see that there is less 9-5 work, this is a trend which is nothing but logic. Hundred years ago everybody worked in factories at assembly lines and it was nice if everybody could be on the same spot, so the assembly line could actually roll and everybody did their thing. Nowadays, the majority of work is providing service and you can do that individual and every time of the day. The 9-5 job is over, people can set their own working hours to do their job. How is that with students? Will the 9-5 schedule disappear?

The schedule of a student – 20 years ago

Twenty years ago, before the internet era, students had to be all in the same room, at the same time, in order to all get the same education. Everybody was there, on time, to listen to the professor who did his talk about business models or whatever. Everybody was there and everybody was on time. Because people wanted to spend time with their family in the evening, the student-work day looked like a normal workday: From 9 till 5.

The schedule of a student – Nowadays

And this changed not very much. Internet is now around 16 years old, is growing some facial hair and it has his first girlfriend. But the Universities aren’t very adapted. The only thing what they are now trying is to record lectures and uploading them to BlackBoard (the University’s learning management system), so students can watch them from their home. But Universities don’t like this way of working, the classes will be more and more empty, because people can watch it at home also, at least, that is what they think.

The schedule of a student – The Future

The schedule of the average student will not change very much. Because the profs are still giving the lectures at a 9-5 schedule, students will live after the same schedule. The majority of students won’t miss class, however they can because the lecture is also online, but that will be way different. You cannot ask questions if you are not attending. You won’t keep up with all the lectures if you not attending them. Recorded lectures will be an advantage for students – because you can look them back. So before a test, you can see the lecture again, nice right? Besides that problem, students also want to do things in the evening, they will hang out with friends, meet with their organisations, clubs and societies. Everybody is having lectures during the day, so the evening is the best time to meet and that will not change! The schedule will shift a little, I suppose. Students don’t like waking up early, so they will skip the early classes more often and they check out those early classes in the late afternoon. Probably a schedule shift like from 9-5 to 11-7, a more human-friendly way of studying.

How rigid is your schedule? Does technology give you any flexibility? Let us know in the comments.