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(Mercury News)   San Jose State suspends online courses after 50% of those enrolled failed to pass. Officials plan to rework it so it can't be accessed by the students at Cal State Bakersfield   (mercurynews.com) divider line 189
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5573 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jul 2013 at 10:18 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-22 08:40:31 AM  
Remedial courses at community colleges typically have passing rates of 10 percent or less, Junn said.

I knew it was bad, but wow.

"Look to your left. Now look to your right. Now look in seven other directions. Only one of you will be passing this course."
 
2013-07-22 09:02:05 AM  
I've taken online classes before, I'd say I lack the discipline to be a good student for online teaching.

/I would imagine the youngins do well with it
//they've been brought up that way
///glad I went to school when I did
 
2013-07-22 09:30:40 AM  
We essentially had MOOCs at my undergrad university, whereby the intro chemistry professor championed getting his lectures recorded and then putting them online.  Every single student I knew who decided to use the videos instead of going to lectures failed.

I think it's because frankly learning something worth learning takes time, and when you're a college student ten million other things compete for said time, so if it's something like an online video it's very easy to push off learning it.  Well that and when you have a question you can't just raise your hand to interrupt the video professor.
 
2013-07-22 09:36:58 AM  

Sybarite: Remedial courses at community colleges typically have passing rates of 10 percent or less, Junn said.

I knew it was bad, but wow.

"Look to your left. Now look to your right. Now look in seven other directions. Only one of you will be passing this course."


My guess if they can't pass remedial math that sentence is well above their heads to begin with.

The world needs ditch diggers. They'd probably be better off taking a class on how to grow pot.
 
2013-07-22 10:21:17 AM  

Sybarite: Remedial courses at community colleges typically have passing rates of 10 percent or less, Junn said.

I knew it was bad, but wow.

"Look to your left. Now look to your right. Now look in seven other directions. Only one of you will be passing this course."


Stupid is a stupid does.  Remedial classes are things anyone paying attention learned in early high school/middle school
 
2013-07-22 10:24:42 AM  
I don't see how this is a bad thing.

A lot of people don't trust the level of online learning. Employers view said degrees as worth the paper they are printed on (especially if electronic!).

But if I get the impression that passing is not a piece of cake, and not something you can 'outsource' to a kid in India then I'd rethink.

As for e-learning for adults, I've found that most employers don't want you to do it at work, and you don't have the energy when you get home.
 
2013-07-22 10:29:47 AM  

Andromeda: We essentially had MOOCs at my undergrad university, whereby the intro chemistry professor championed getting his lectures recorded and then putting them online.  Every single student I knew who decided to use the videos instead of going to lectures failed.

I think it's because frankly learning something worth learning takes time, and when you're a college student ten million other things compete for said time, so if it's something like an online video it's very easy to push off learning it.  Well that and when you have a question you can't just raise your hand to interrupt the video professor.


I think people overestimate the ability of the average person to teach themselves.  Some people naturally pick up skills on their own.  Some, like PhD's, have trained themselves over a lifetime to learn new skills and to educate themselves.  But some people just need someone who can stand in front of the class and answer questions.  I also suspect that the younger crowd treats online lectures like they do every other online interaction, half-assedly.  If you really want to learn something, you need to be able to focus and I just can't imagine being able to focus on an online lecture when Twitter, YouTube, and everything else is a click away.  I know it would be hard for me.
 
2013-07-22 10:30:05 AM  

bdub77: They'd probably be better off taking a class on how to grow pot.


Sooo, they should be horticulturists.   That requires a 4 year degree too.
 
2013-07-22 10:30:57 AM  
I've taken 2 on line courses.  In one I got an A the other a D.

 
The A's were in C++.  I already knew the language and wanted a piece a paper saying I knew it.

 
The D was in Marketing.  The on line assignments came across as busy work (scan and upload 5 product labels at the grocery store that catch your attention).  Also we'd have online class "lectures" s during work hours when we all had to log in.  One of the reasons you take an online course is for the flex hours.  I have a job so I couldn't make most of the lectures.  Also we were also supposed to contribute to online discussions about marketing.  Most of my online discussion experience is from Fark so I struggled to keep the snark to a minimum.

 
Anyway, I took two online classes and I learned nothing from either. Moral of the story is on line course are a waste if you want to learn something.
 
2013-07-22 10:32:25 AM  

Andromeda: We essentially had MOOCs at my undergrad university, whereby the intro chemistry professor championed getting his lectures recorded and then putting them online.  Every single student I knew who decided to use the videos instead of going to lectures failed.

I think it's because frankly learning something worth learning takes time, and when you're a college student ten million other things compete for said time, so if it's something like an online video it's very easy to push off learning it.  Well that and when you have a question you can't just raise your hand to interrupt the video professor.


I'd say there's another element as well:  The kind of person who would rather blow off lectures in favor of online videos might also have some other issues.  It's by no means universal, but if someone doesn't want to commit to the time of a lecture, that's the same kind of person who might have just skipped the lectures anyway.  The fact that you say it was an intro class kind of amplifies that likelihood.  A lot of people were probably only taking it because they needed some kind of science credit to graduate, and put in the absolute minimum of effort.
 
2013-07-22 10:35:20 AM  
nebraskayogi.files.wordpress.com


pic is borrowed
 
2013-07-22 10:36:14 AM  

raerae1980: bdub77: They'd probably be better off taking a class on how to grow pot.

Sooo, they should be horticulturists.   That requires a 4 year degree too.


In 4 years you learn to grow all the plants. You can learn to grow one plant in a lot less than 4 years.
 
2013-07-22 10:37:18 AM  
I can see that. The online courses I have taken thru UCLA have been quite a challenge, and I was actually paying attention and stuff...and it was on material I already had a good solid knowledge of but whoa this professor really brought it, ya know?
 
2013-07-22 10:37:52 AM  

Muta: Anyway, I took two online classes and I learned nothing from either. Moral of the story is on line course are a waste if you want to learn something.


I'm not convinced.

One of the classes you use to prove your point is on a topic you already knew and the other is on a topic you didn't seem to be particularly interested in.

Try taking an online class on a topic you are interested in but don't already know intimately (maybe some obscure programming language) and then report back.
 
2013-07-22 10:38:36 AM  
Failed to pass? You mean failed, right?
 
2013-07-22 10:40:23 AM  
Probably like anything else.  You get out of it what you put into it.
 
2013-07-22 10:41:50 AM  
Many online course takers, younger ones in particular, think just clicking through and doing the minimum amount of work should earn them a passing grade. Education doesn't work like that.
 
2013-07-22 10:41:57 AM  
Muta:
The D was in Marketing.  The on line assignments came across as busy work (scan and upload 5 product labels at the grocery store that catch your attention).

That doesn't sound like busywork. The object is to think about *why* those specific labels caught your attention, as opposed to the one on the product next to it on the shelf that didn't.

 Also we'd have online class "lectures" s during work hours when we all had to log in.  One of the reasons you take an online course is for the flex hours.  I have a job so I couldn't make most of the lectures.

Well that was silly. That would tend to reduce the utility of an online course.
 
2013-07-22 10:42:31 AM  
Greenlighter who lives in California like typing detected.
 
2013-07-22 10:43:02 AM  

majestic: Failed to pass? You mean failed, right?


Don't be so negative - those poor snowflakes shouldn't be burdened with the stigma of failure!
 
2013-07-22 10:45:27 AM  
Our institution only has a handful of online courses and no online degree options.  I get a few inquiries a month about why we don't have more than that, and it's interesting how many people there are who don't realize the importance of a good teacher.
 
2013-07-22 10:45:40 AM  
FTFA:
which included high school students and college students who had failed math before

Ok, I think I see the problem.  You can't polish a turd.


/in this metaphor, your mind is the turd.
 
2013-07-22 10:45:41 AM  
Damn! This was my favorite course .
 
2013-07-22 10:48:58 AM  

Mentat: Andromeda: We essentially had MOOCs at my undergrad university, whereby the intro chemistry professor championed getting his lectures recorded and then putting them online.  Every single student I knew who decided to use the videos instead of going to lectures failed.

I think it's because frankly learning something worth learning takes time, and when you're a college student ten million other things compete for said time, so if it's something like an online video it's very easy to push off learning it.  Well that and when you have a question you can't just raise your hand to interrupt the video professor.

I think people overestimate the ability of the average person to teach themselves.  Some people naturally pick up skills on their own.  Some, like PhD's, have trained themselves over a lifetime to learn new skills and to educate themselves.  But some people just need someone who can stand in front of the class and answer questions.  I also suspect that the younger crowd treats online lectures like they do every other online interaction, half-assedly.  If you really want to learn something, you need to be able to focus and I just can't imagine being able to focus on an online lecture when Twitter, YouTube, and everything else is a click away.  I know it would be hard for me.


I took some online courses at a community college (has to do some courses to go back to college in the US, since it was so long since I took them in the UK) and I am not too surprised. Half the time they create ways to make the course easier, so people can pass. It always amazed me how people can take a networking course without even having physical experience physically setting up a switch or firewall. Then again I only did a few courses online.

I did quite like the Art Appreciation course online mind you. It was a lot of writing and analysis. Since we had no limitations on the maximum size I could really go into the subject.  I tend to do well with such courses, despite how awful my English skills are online. However, there is no way I would do a mathematics course online. I so prefer a lecturer to answer questions and someone I can go see with problems. Otherwise I would have easily missed one or two more calculus questions and wouldn't have such a good understanding. The same is true with courses like physics.I had a great lecturer there that gave me alot of one on one time, to such an extent I had more than one or two extra private classes to go over more advanced information and had someone to go over and answer questions. Most people didn't take advantages of such opportunities though which is quite sad. They tended to do poorly.

Then again you can't really do an EE degree online and understand the field properly. I found if you are willing to work your arse off, most lecturers are willing to really help you push yourselves.
 
2013-07-22 10:49:35 AM  

The_Gallant_Gallstone: Muta: Anyway, I took two online classes and I learned nothing from either. Moral of the story is on line course are a waste if you want to learn something.

I'm not convinced.

One of the classes you use to prove your point is on a topic you already knew and the other is on a topic you didn't seem to be particularly interested in.

Try taking an online class on a topic you are interested in but don't already know intimately (maybe some obscure programming language) and then report back.


I was as interested in the Marketing class as I was any other non-core curriculum class.  Due to the grading criteria, missing all the online lectures meant the best I could ever to was get a C.  Why couldn't I just read the transcript of the lecture while I wasn't at work?  Again, being able to do the course work around a flexible schedule IS A PRIMARY REASON TO TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE!!!  The instructure saying we had to be on at 10:00 am works counter to that.  Scanning in labels was a retarded activity as was having to contribute to online discussions.  It could be that the course was poorly executed but I didn't learn anything from the class.
 
2013-07-22 10:50:30 AM  

Mentat: Andromeda: We essentially had MOOCs at my undergrad university, whereby the intro chemistry professor championed getting his lectures recorded and then putting them online.  Every single student I knew who decided to use the videos instead of going to lectures failed.

I think it's because frankly learning something worth learning takes time, and when you're a college student ten million other things compete for said time, so if it's something like an online video it's very easy to push off learning it.  Well that and when you have a question you can't just raise your hand to interrupt the video professor.

I think people overestimate the ability of the average person to teach themselves.  Some people naturally pick up skills on their own.  Some, like PhD's, have trained themselves over a lifetime to learn new skills and to educate themselves.  But some people just need someone who can stand in front of the class and answer questions.  I also suspect that the younger crowd treats online lectures like they do every other online interaction, half-assedly.  If you really want to learn something, you need to be able to focus and I just can't imagine being able to focus on an online lecture when Twitter, YouTube, and everything else is a click away.  I know it would be hard for me.


Well said.

I couldn't possibly do an online class with icons for Minecraft and Cube World staring at me.
 
2013-07-22 10:54:32 AM  
Meanwhile, Home Schoolers score in the 88th percentile on national standardized tests while Pubic Scrool'rs test in the 50th percentile.

St. John's and Auburn online curriculum score highest while California online curriculums score .. well, read the article. In other news, 47% of Detroit's citizens are functionally illiterate.

I can haz spelt?
 
2013-07-22 10:55:03 AM  
I'm impressed so little cheating going on.
 
2013-07-22 10:55:54 AM  

Last Man on Earth: Andromeda: We essentially had MOOCs at my undergrad university, whereby the intro chemistry professor championed getting his lectures recorded and then putting them online.  Every single student I knew who decided to use the videos instead of going to lectures failed.

I think it's because frankly learning something worth learning takes time, and when you're a college student ten million other things compete for said time, so if it's something like an online video it's very easy to push off learning it.  Well that and when you have a question you can't just raise your hand to interrupt the video professor.

I'd say there's another element as well:  The kind of person who would rather blow off lectures in favor of online videos might also have some other issues.  It's by no means universal, but if someone doesn't want to commit to the time of a lecture, that's the same kind of person who might have just skipped the lectures anyway.  The fact that you say it was an intro class kind of amplifies that likelihood.  A lot of people were probably only taking it because they needed some kind of science credit to graduate, and put in the absolute minimum of effort.


For sure.  I also knew a few guys who dropped out of college because they played too much World of Warcraft but I don't find the game to be at fault- had it not existed I'm sure they would've failed for some other reason.
 
2013-07-22 10:56:56 AM  
I have observed online education to be something of a sham.
 
2013-07-22 10:58:52 AM  
You know, I used to get upset with people because it seemed like almost everyone had a learning disorder.  It took me some time to realize that it wasn't that they were unintelligent, but rather, they did not know how to teach themselves.  Realize that until the last 2 decades or so, that was the norm;  the school systems taught primarily by rote, and despite the claim of advancing self-discovery, Montessori-style schools were really more about picking one of a set of prepared activities, and still actively taught, rather than simply guided.

Since schools haven't changed much, what happened in the last 20 years then?

The big difference is the rapid change in our cultural norms, especially technology, which requires us to learn how to learn just to keep up.  You may think that's not even a qualified skill, but think about this:  A community college in your area probably has a course on how to read email.  Can you even conceptualize actually sitting down in a class, and learning how to read email?  The folks who take those classes aren't dumb - they just don't know how to teach themselves.  They need someone to tell them, step by step, they only learn by rote, following someone else's instructions.

How does this all relate to online courses?  Well, for them to be effective, the individual must be capable of teaching themselves.  Providing a video and online quizes is no different than dropping a book on their desk.  Technology doesn't magically make it 'work'.  You have to be able to teach yourself.

Obviously those least likely to be capable of that are those who need to take remedial courses in the first place.  If they had the ability to teach themselves, they wouldn't need the remedial courses.  It's no surprise that this attempt failed.  If it succeeded, I would have been extremely skeptical.
 
2013-07-22 11:00:08 AM  
I got a lot of my credits for my Master's through online courses.  Some were good, some were bad.  The worst required multiple weekly online discussions, where you had to try to find a way to say "Good Point comrade" in no less than 200 words, 2 or 3 times a week, on top of the required postings to which others would respond.

One of my teachers liked to give us a bunch of readings and work to do, and then also include lots of enrichment materials that were not covered on the assessments.  Now, I mean probably 3 or 4 hours of reading a week on top of our weekly assignments, PLUS another 2 or 3 hours a week of extra stuff.  Naturally, most students never bothered to view these ancillary materials.  This teacher got so mad he would post in ALL CAPS on our class website (Blackboard) about how only 1 or 2 people were viewing all of the materials.

The best class was Creative Poetry Writing. "If you turn in the required quantity of work, you get an A, as I will not judge the quality of your work."  I got an A.

Some online courses are great, some are awful.  Just like any other class, the teacher will make it or break it.
 
2013-07-22 11:00:38 AM  

Muta: Scanning in labels was a retarded activity as was having to contribute to online discussions.


Sounds like you would have gotten the same D for a traditional course. And probably have whined about it just as hard.
 
2013-07-22 11:00:59 AM  
People assume online courses are easier than the normal courses. Some of the ones I took were easy but many were challenging (Accounting courses) and if you aren't disciplined enough you'll find yourself behind in the class pretty quick. I think the amount of reading is the same as in class. And besides, I did take some classes on campus that frankly was as easy as showing up meeting the very basic requirements in the syllabus.

I taught myself computing so when I started taking online courses, I already had the skills to learn on my own.
 
2013-07-22 11:01:26 AM  

Muta: Scanning in labels was a retarded activity as was having to contribute to online discussions.


quizzical dog.jpg

I mean, the class sounds pretty terrible, and that having to log in is awful.  Online classes, in general, suck.  But online discussions are a good way for the teacher to verify that everyone's done at least a little bit of reading/work, and a good way to start, well, discussions.
 
2013-07-22 11:04:00 AM  
I also should have mentioned that beyond the professor just totally being into his lectures and making the tests a challenge, I mean the guy was passionate and kind of entertaining, but I was also really psyched to take the course anyway. So maybe my experience reflects something of an anomaly.
 
2013-07-22 11:05:25 AM  
In other news, students who are motivated to learn excel with or without teachers, while students who are there to skate through their classes need to be prodded by a real teacher who can explain concepts in multiple ways until they get it through their thick skulls.
 
2013-07-22 11:05:27 AM  

Muta: The_Gallant_Gallstone: Muta: Anyway, I took two online classes and I learned nothing from either. Moral of the story is on line course are a waste if you want to learn something.

I'm not convinced.

One of the classes you use to prove your point is on a topic you already knew and the other is on a topic you didn't seem to be particularly interested in.

Try taking an online class on a topic you are interested in but don't already know intimately (maybe some obscure programming language) and then report back.

I was as interested in the Marketing class as I was any other non-core curriculum class.  Due to the grading criteria, missing all the online lectures meant the best I could ever to was get a C.  Why couldn't I just read the transcript of the lecture while I wasn't at work?  Again, being able to do the course work around a flexible schedule IS A PRIMARY REASON TO TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE!!! The instructure saying we had to be on at 10:00 am works counter to that.  Scanning in labels was a retarded activity as was having to contribute to online discussions.  It could be that the course was poorly executed but I didn't learn anything from the class.


That is not the only reason for an online course, sometimes it is because you can't make it to campus. But if the course had a requirement that you knew you couldn't fulfill you should have dropped the course. And maybe you didn't learn anything because you didn't participate in the online lectures and discussions were the majority of learning was taking place.
 
2013-07-22 11:06:52 AM  

Clemkadidlefark: Meanwhile, Home Schoolers score in the 88th percentile on national standardized tests while Pubic Scrool'rs test in the 50th percentile.

St. John's and Auburn online curriculum score highest while California online curriculums score .. well, read the article. In other news, 47% of Detroit's citizens are functionally illiterate.

I can haz spelt


Yes, the average score for public school students - who are about 90% of all students nationwide - is the 50th percentile.

farking statistics. How do they work?

Meanwhile, the homeschooled kids who choose to take a standardized test (many states don't require it) do very well.

A fairer comparison (say, ACT scores of incoming college freshmen) has a homeschoolers with a very slight advantage.
 
2013-07-22 11:07:39 AM  

pdieten: raerae1980: bdub77: They'd probably be better off taking a class on how to grow pot.

Sooo, they should be horticulturists.   That requires a 4 year degree too.

In 4 years you learn to grow all the plants. You can learn to grow one plant in a lot less than 4 years.


i.imgflip.com
 
2013-07-22 11:08:02 AM  

CheatCommando: Sounds like you would have gotten the same D for a traditional course. And probably have whined about it just as hard.


Since I couldn't make the online "lectures", the best grade I could have gotten was a "C".  I got a "D".  I think it is safe to say that had I been able to make the lectures, I would have gotten a "B".  Just because I thought an activity was pointless doesn't mean I didn't do it.
 
2013-07-22 11:10:01 AM  
I've taken two wholly online courses. One, a math course, I dropped about one week. I need a classroom where I can ask questions, work with other students after class, all that stuff, and I figured that out pretty quick. I dropped before the refund date so no harm no foul on that one. I can't do online math.

The second was an Ag Economics course that's required for my major. Lots of reading. lots of discussion. but as long as you put some effort in and were able to understand basic economic principles and how they might apply to worldwide agricultural systems, it wasn't all that difficult. Result: A+. We had some people fail, I don't know if they never logged in or never did any assignments or what, but I don't see how anybody could fail that course, web based or traditional.

Going forward, I'll probably only take courses online are things like that...do some reading, write about what you learned, move on with life. I know I won't be attempting things like calculus, upper division chemistry, or microbiology online, even if they were offered that way there is no way I'd do well, just because I don't learn well that way .

TL;DR--everybody is different and will have different experiences in online course delivery.
 
2013-07-22 11:10:06 AM  

kwame: Our institution only has a handful of online courses and no online degree options.  I get a few inquiries a month about why we don't have more than that, and it's interesting how many people there are who don't realize the importance of a good teacher.


Online courses should be taught by good teachers.

it's amazing how many people overvalue the classroom setting.
 
2013-07-22 11:10:12 AM  
I find online classes to either be too easy and I don't feel I am learning anything so I half ass it and score low, or it is too hard and I just can't get my head around concepts like I normally can and score low.

/Sitting in class
//Ssssshhhhhh the lecture is about to begin!
///Sorry got to go
 
2013-07-22 11:10:32 AM  

Blue_Blazer: Some online courses are great, some are awful. Just like any other class, the teacher will make it or break it.


This is a good point.  I would like to ask, in all seriousness, who is doing a good job of it?  I plan on taking courses forever, and would like to know somewhere better than FROSTBURG STATE UNIVERSITY, who is doing a simply awful job of it.
 
2013-07-22 11:12:27 AM  

Muta: CheatCommando: Sounds like you would have gotten the same D for a traditional course. And probably have whined about it just as hard.

Since I couldn't make the online "lectures", the best grade I could have gotten was a "C".  I got a "D".  I think it is safe to say that had I been able to make the lectures, I would have gotten a "B".  Just because I thought an activity was pointless doesn't mean I didn't do it.


Why was any of it pointless? Don't you think that scanning the labels would have tied in with a lecture and discussion on why those things caught your eye and how product marketing ties into that? But you wouldn't know because you didn't attend the lectures because you thought they were pointless along with the assignments.

I bet you are a real pleasure to work with.
 
2013-07-22 11:12:42 AM  

pdieten: raerae1980: bdub77: They'd probably be better off taking a class on how to grow pot.

Sooo, they should be horticulturists.   That requires a 4 year degree too.

In 4 years you learn to grow all the plants. You can learn to grow one plant in a lot less than 4 years.


True, but I was thinking if they want to make money off their plants, they'll need more than one.  Don't laugh but I know people who grow/sell weed that have degrees in horticulture.  They take it seriously.   And they make good money.  *shrugs*
 
2013-07-22 11:16:24 AM  
When I was in college I took two online classes.  Ended up dropping both of them.  There are too many distractions at home plus there isn't always the ease to just ask questions if needed with an assignment.
 
2013-07-22 11:18:20 AM  

DarwiOdrade: Many online course takers, younger ones in particular, think just clicking through and doing the minimum amount of work should earn them a passing grade. Education doesn't work like that.


It's not just the younger ones, believe me. I've had this experience with a few teachers (who already had master's degrees in education) taking online courses for professional development.


 

Andromeda: I think it's because frankly learning something worth learning takes time, and when you're a college student ten million other things compete for said time, so if it's something like an online video it's very easy to push off learning it. Well that and when you have a question you can't just raise your hand to interrupt the video professor.


And again, it's not just the youngsters. Because online work can in theory happen at any time, not enough time is set aside to work through the assignments. I've actually had someone complain to me about how much time it was taking, given everything else they had on their plate in meatspace (which was presumably more important)... with the insinuation that the online course should have been a cakewalk. Uh huh.

Don't do the course online if you can't do the time.
 
2013-07-22 11:18:42 AM  
I've taken three or four online classes. A couple lower math classes and a couple of accounting classes. I did well in all of them. The freakin' accounting classes took me like 15 hours of work every week and I found them quite challenging. One thing they had was a pretty lively forum wherein you could interact with the instructor and other students to talk through assigments, etc. Frankly I thought it worked quite well. But I'm old and disciplined and paid for the classes out of my own pocket. Taking them online meant being able to take the classes - I would not have been able to schlep up to the jr college 25 times while working 50 hours a week.
 
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