Students, professors victims of bots

By Cameron Maldonado-Olea

East Los Angeles College is working to eliminate inactive accounts from classrooms that are taking enrollment opportunities from students. 

Kerrin McMahn, Instructional Services dean at ELAC, said people who join classes and aren’t active are known as bots. They join classes and take up space, leaving students interested in the class out of the opportunity of adding it to their schedule. Professors and students are both affected by this situation.

These students are signing up and disappearing from class. McMahn said students doing this are committing fraudulent acts. 

Students that are inactive are not punished because the college gives accurate enrollment figures to the state, due to funding being based on enrollment. Faculty are the ones in position to exclude inactive students.

The increase of these bots started when classes moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help mitigate, McMahn advised that professors should follow the document, “Mandatory Exclusion Roster.” 

This will help get rid of inactive students. McMahn said another way for professors to check on students is by getting in contact with individuals in the class to help prevent any accidental removal of students. 

She said faculty can also add students to the waitlist in the event that  some students enrolled are bots.

A professor in philosophy once had a class with 60 students enrolled, after excluding everyone that wasn’t active, only 12 students were left.

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