As was announced in an all-campus email this week, Carleton faculty have decided to offer online course material exclusively via popular video app TikTok. Previously, ITS had been recommending that faculty use established, professional platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet, but Carleton faculty are not ones to be held down by “convention.”
“TikTok is what the kids are doing these days,” said one Biology professor, “So we thought, why not meet them where they’re at?”
“I don’t know,” said one junior Economics major. “I’ve never been on TikTok. I think professors might have this misperception that we’re all on TikTok. So I guess I’ll download it now. How do I do that? Do I have to make an account?”
“Carleton is number-one in the country for teaching,” said one Admissions officer. “Our profs are known for their devotion to their students. And in these unprecedented times, we’re innovating.”
“I honestly don’t know what TikTok is,” said one senior. “I’m not sure why they’re doing this. Zoom seemed fine.”
“We already knew that students participating in Zoom classes would be scrolling through TikTok out-of-frame, anyway,” echoed a Sociology professor. “If we provide all our lecture material over TikTok, then they won’t be able to watch Lil Huddy dancing to DaBaby at the same time.”
“I was actually really looking forward to my Calculus class,” said one first-year. “I was planning on taking detailed notes and giving my online class full attention. Even though it’s not in-person, I really want to try. So anyway, I kind of wish they’d gone the traditional Zoom route. I don’t know, call me boring.”
TikTok’s maximum video length is 60 seconds. Some professors have chosen to upload 60-second lectures, while others are using TikTok’s existing trends, such as lip syncing and dancing, to convey their material.
“I was kind of worried that 60 seconds wouldn’t be long enough for me to detail everything I need to about the transformation of Blues from the Delta to Chicago,” said one Music professor. “But it’s been working surprisingly well. I just post a video of myself lip-syncing to B.B. King, and my students can get a really good sense of the historical context.”
One History professor has been hard at work posting homemade reenactments of key moments from history. “I just dress up in period clothing, and dress up my cats to match, and we do a little skit. It’s definitely different from what I’m used to,” he laughed, “But if it works for Carleton students, I’ll adapt!”
“Uh, I guess it’s cool, maybe,” said one doubtful sophomore. “But it’s also kind of weird?”
“I’ve been working really hard to make sure my students can learn however is best for them,” said one Chemistry professor. “So it might be a little different this way, but hey, if they want lectures on TikTok, I’ll post lectures on TikTok!”
“I just really wish lectures weren’t on TikTok, is what I’m saying, I guess,” said one student.
“Classes may be on TikTok,” tweeted Carleton College last night, “but they’ll still be Carleton. Or, they’ll have the Carleton logo in the bottom, at least. So there’s that.”