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Thinking of skipping class? Calculate the risk

Jenna Johnson

Man, I wish this tool existed when I was in college: An online calculator that helps you weigh the risk of skipping class.

The Skip Class Calculator asks you 10 questions, does some calculations, then tells you if skipping is a good idea or not.

(Special thanks to Kevin Loker, a journalism student at George Mason University, for sending me the link. Follow him on Twitter, @KevinLoker.)

So, let's give it a hypothetical whirl, just for fun. Let's say I am a student at Columbia College in Chicago, and I am debating if I should skip my Zombies in Popular Media class. (Not sure why anyone would skip this class, check out the syllabus.)

How often do I have this class and how many weeks are in the semester? We are just going to guess twice a week for 15 weeks.

How many days have you already skipped? Uh, three. Current grade? B. Date of next quiz? Um, next Friday.

Any chance there will be a quiz? Nope. Is there an attendance policy? Sure -- you lose points for every day skipped.

How much the exam comes from lectures? We are gonna go with "mostly lecture." How often are important announcements made in class? Uh, rarely. How easy is it to get a copy of someone's notes? Uh, possible.

Hitting submit.... and....

The calculator tells me: "It is OK to skip class. You should be ok, but it's not completely safe."

It also reminds me that I have skipped 10 percent of classes this semester -- and I have a test or quiz in seven days.

The calculator was created by Jim Filbert, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in telecommunications management, according to his bio on the website. Here's how he says the idea came about in February:

I woke up one cold morning and debated whether or not I wanted to get out of bed to go to class. I ran the risk in my head. Then I pondered. I was wondering if there might already be a tool on the interwebs which would run that risk for me. After a few minutes of searching I found nothing -- so I decided it was up to me to create. I ended up skipping class that day because I was too excited about the idea.

Okay, someone needs to actually use this calculator in a real situation and let me know if it works or not. (And, it goes without saying, you really truly should go to all of your classes all of the time. Seriously.)

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  August 13, 2010; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  
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Funny post. I always used to figure out what the per-class cost of my course was (usually about $100) and decide if it was worth $100 to stay in bed. Being naturally stingy, I usually decided it was not.

As for the Zombies class, it's a pretty intense experience and missing one probably won't clobber you, but more than that will put you too far behind to catch up. Interested readers can learn more about it here:

Brendan Riley
Associate Professor of English
Columbia College Chicago

Posted by: DrBriley | August 13, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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