September 21, 2022

Talking to students: What are our undergraduates’ hopes, fears and solutions for life at SFU?

Flexibility, opportunities to connect in person and access to course material are among the top concerns for students this Fall.

Where are students at for Fall, 2022? And how can instructors help them to adapt to their new on and off campus lives?

We talked to students from across campus at SFU’s September 7 Services Fair to find out what they are most excited about, most concerned about, and what instructors can do to help. 

What is top of mind for students?

Connecting with classmates, instructors and the campus community in real life was repeatedly shared as the top draw for students this term, while managing workload and academic performance emerged as their top concerns. 

“I’m excited about being in person so that it’s easier to ask questions and have discussions. It makes education better.” – Kaden, FAS 

“I’m excited to explore everything SFU has to offer and get to know my classmates, TAs and faculty.”  – Sumeet, FAS

When asked how instructors can best support them, students shared a desire for understanding and flexibility, connection opportunities and content navigation. 

Flexibility and understanding

“One thing that was good about COVID-19 was how professors were so supportive around student mental and physical health needs. We hope this doesn’t change … Instructors can help by posting their sick policy in the syllabus, being approachable and being flexible about assignments.” – Cynthia, FASS.

“Instructors can help me by listening to my academic problems and being understanding.” – Neeshat, FHS

Opportunities to connect in person

“We learned from the pandemic that people can communicate online well, but that in-person classes are good for building connections with your teacher and groups. I want to see instructors combine the best of both.” – Austin, FASS. 

“Having extended office hours so that I don’t feel rushed and have the time for things like getting feedback on paper outlines.”- Simar, FASS

Accessing and navigating material

“Instructors can help by having all of the content they are presenting written on their slides. When there are just a few headings on a slide, I have to rely on what they are saying and that can be hard.” – T.S., SCI

“Explain clearly what to do and where to find content for studying. When there are lots of slides it can be hard for me to dig through them to find the content I need.” –  Evan, SCI