Student stress is one of the major difficulties faced by students in all learning and training institutions. There may be a lot of pressure in these schools class work, exams and assignments may cause students pressure. Some students, however, may not realize that they are stressed up. Being a student may be one of those very demanding times. Identifying causes of stress and their possible solutions is the best way that can potentially assist in dealing with stress. Student stress needs to be addressed as it may have serious harmful effects.
Causes of student stress
Lack of proper time management is one of the reasons for student stress. Lack of prioritization leads to last minute rush in meeting set deadlines for tasks and assignments. Financial instability is also a primary cause of student stress. Students may lack resources that they may need for their study for example stationery, educational tours and trips and this may cause a lot of stress. Family expectations may also lead to stress among students. They are expected to perform better in studies each time. They may end up over studying even late in the nights. This causes students a lot of stress. No one is sure about the future and what it holds. Future uncertainties for example fear of failure in life are a leading cause of stress among students. Another cause of student stress is personal relationships. Pressure to maintain one's friends and broken relationships with friends result in student stress.
Student Stress Relief Techniques
Since exams are a major stress cause for students, there is a need for proper preparation to avoid freaking out during the exam period. Power naps is also another important technique of dealing and preventing stress for students. To deal with student stress, it is also important to ensure that one has enough and sufficient sleep. Exercising is also an important student stress relieving technique. This helps in relaxation of the mind. Breathing exercise, for example, helps one to keep calm and assists in thinking logically and straight. Music is also a powerful technique for dealing with student stress. Listening to favorite and preferably soft music helps relieve stress. Students need to eat right and healthy. This helps students handle stressful conditions as compared to when students skip meals. Positive thinking is an essential stress relieving technique. Always being positive eliminates the thoughts of failure and enables a student to perform tasks when they are relaxed and thus avoiding stress.
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“There is a huge value in learning with instant feedback,” Dr. Agarwal said. “Students are telling us they learn much better with instant feedback.”
But skeptics say the automated system is no match for live teachers. One longtime critic, Les Perelman, has drawn national attention several times for putting together nonsense essays that have fooled software grading programs into giving high marks. He has also been highly critical of studies that purport to show that the software compares well to human graders.
“My first and greatest objection to the research is that they did not have any valid statistical test comparing the software directly to human graders,” said Mr. Perelman, a retired director of writing and a current researcher at M.I.T.
He is among a group of educators who last month began circulating a petition opposing automated assessment software. The group, which calls itself Professionals Against Machine Scoring of Student Essays in High-Stakes Assessment, has collected nearly 2,000 signatures, including some from luminaries like .
“Let’s face the realities of automatic essay scoring,” the group’s statement reads in part. “Computers cannot ‘read.’ They cannot measure the essentials of effective written communication: accuracy, reasoning, adequacy of evidence, good sense, ethical stance, convincing argument, meaningful organization, clarity, and veracity, among others.”
But EdX expects its software to be adopted widely by schools and universities. EdX offers free online classes from Harvard, M.I.T. and the ; this fall, it will add classes from Wellesley, Georgetown and the . In all, 12 universities participate in EdX, which offers certificates for course completion and has said that it plans to continue to expand next year, including adding international schools.
The EdX assessment tool requires human teachers, or graders, to first grade 100 essays or essay questions. The system then uses a variety of machine-learning techniques to train itself to be able to grade any number of essays or answers automatically and almost instantaneously.
The software will assign a grade depending on the scoring system created by the teacher, whether it is a letter grade or numerical rank. It will also provide general feedback, like telling a student whether an answer was on topic or not.
Dr. Agarwal said he believed that the software was nearing the capability of human grading.
“This is machine learning and there is a long way to go, but it’s good enough and the upside is huge,” he said. “We found that the quality of the grading is similar to the variation you find from instructor to instructor.”
EdX is not the first to use automated assessment technology, which dates to early mainframe computers in the 1960s. There is now a range of companies offering commercial programs to grade written test answers, and four states — , , and — are using some form of the technology in secondary schools. A fifth, , has experimented with it. In some cases the software is used as a “second reader,” to check the reliability of the human graders.
But the growing influence of the EdX consortium to set standards is likely to give the technology a boost. On Tuesday, Stanford announced that it would work with EdX to develop a joint educational system that will incorporate the automated assessment technology.
Two start-ups, Coursera and Udacity, recently founded by Stanford faculty members to create “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, are also committed to automated assessment systems because of the value of instant feedback.
“It allows students to get immediate feedback on their work, so that learning turns into a game, with students naturally gravitating toward resubmitting the work until they get it right,” said Daphne Koller, a computer scientist and a founder of Coursera.
Last year the Hewlett Foundation, a grant-making organization set up by one of the founders and his wife, sponsored two $100,000 prizes aimed at improving software that grades essays and short answers. More than 150 teams entered each category. A winner of one of the Hewlett contests, Vik Paruchuri, was hired by EdX to help design its assessment software.
“One of our focuses is to help kids learn how to think critically,” said Victor Vuchic, a program officer at the Hewlett Foundation. “It’s probably impossible to do that with multiple-choice tests. The challenge is that this requires human graders, and so they cost a lot more and they take a lot more time.”
Mark D. Shermis, a professor at the University of Akron in , supervised the Hewlett Foundation’s contest on automated essay scoring and wrote a paper about the experiment. In his view, the technology — though imperfect — has a place in educational settings.
With increasingly large classes, it is impossible for most teachers to give students meaningful feedback on writing assignments, he said. Plus, he noted, critics of the technology have tended to come from the nation’s best universities, where the level of pedagogy is much better than at most schools.
“Often they come from very prestigious institutions where, in fact, they do a much better job of providing feedback than a machine ever could,” Dr. Shermis said. “There seems to be a lack of appreciation of what is actually going on in the real world.”Continue reading the main story