If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(CNN)   "Will online classes make professors extinct?" asks someone who has never gone to college   (cnn.com) divider line 61
    More: Amusing, online learning, Chronicle of Higher Education, private colleges, English professor, liberal arts colleges, loan defaults  
•       •       •

1944 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Nov 2013 at 1:10 AM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



61 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-11-25 11:55:57 PM
If schools can remain accredited and this would increase their profit margins, yep. As long as the student loan scheme continues and people slack their way through to a useless degree.
 
2013-11-25 11:58:52 PM
Not until you can blow a computer for a better grade
 
2013-11-26 12:51:19 AM
no.
 
2013-11-26 12:54:12 AM

Red Shirt Blues: If schools can remain accredited and this would increase their profit margins, yep. As long as the student loan scheme continues and people slack their way through to a useless degree.


moocs are a joke
 
2013-11-26 01:13:00 AM
Classes are taught by the teacher assistant more often than a real live professor.  You could replace the professor with a chimpanzee and no one would really notice.
 
2013-11-26 01:16:32 AM
These days, at least in public ed, students can even take PE online! I think they require you to connect a pulse detector to your computer so that the calories burned via fapping can be recorded towards your fitness goals.
 
2013-11-26 01:24:16 AM

OgreMagi: Classes are taught by the teacher assistant more often than a real live professor.  You could replace the professor with a chimpanzee and no one would really notice.


This is only at R1 institutions.  Most universities and colleges aren't R1 institutions.
 
2013-11-26 01:25:32 AM
The graduate school I want to go to just rolled out a 2-year online program. They are advertising it saving $22k. It would be perfect for someone like me, for whom the commute would be ugly (about an hour train ride each way).

Just a shame I couldn't afford the application fee this year.

/or that, as far as I know, there's not much if anything in the way of federal aid for grad students
 
2013-11-26 01:30:41 AM

powhound: These days, at least in public ed, students can even take PE online! I think they require you to connect a pulse detector to your computer so that the calories burned via fapping can be recorded towards your fitness goals.


Magna cum laude.
 
2013-11-26 01:32:07 AM
I remember taking one class online when I was starting off with my Assoc. Never do it again. I'm the type of person who has too much going on at home to get anything accomplished. I needed the classroom environment. And I know I'm not the only one out there. As long as people like us exist, there will always be a need for classroom instruction.
 
2013-11-26 01:34:58 AM
Except for maybe certain classes like Mathematics (where you actually take the tests in a laboratory setting), online courses are a complete farce.

Have you ever looked at sites like ODesk online? Like 10% of the jobs on there are writing papers and doing verbal exams for students (yes, I recognize that some of those could be for legitimate Universities, but at least real universities have some stop-gap measures, like the fact that you actually have a REAL IDENTITY). It's ridiculous.

With internet courses the way they are designed now, we now live in a world where if you have someone that cares for you enough or that you can pay enough, they will go to college for you!

Every one of these news stories you see on TV or online about The End of Professors and Brick-and-Mortar Universities are outright advertisements for the for-profit colleges and the growing class of public and private school administrators that see a way to make a buck without even providing a useful product to the consumer!

Wow. Sounds a lot like your average cell phone plan, bank account, or insurance policy at that point, doesn't it?
 
2013-11-26 01:44:50 AM

Peki: The graduate school I want to go to just rolled out a 2-year online program. They are advertising it saving $22k. It would be perfect for someone like me, for whom the commute would be ugly (about an hour train ride each way).

Just a shame I couldn't afford the application fee this year.

/or that, as far as I know, there's not much if anything in the way of federal aid for grad students


o.O
*dons tattered academic advisor hat*

Federal? Grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans.
Then there are state and private scholarships and grants.
There's also making schools compete for you - and yes, they'll bid against each other.
You need to do the research and find out what the department/program/school has in its own discretionary funding for scholars.
Get going now.

*doffs tattered academic advisor hat*
 
2013-11-26 01:55:34 AM
No, but the medium tail wagging the content dog will.  So make sure you sign off on 100k in debt for a traditional degree now.  While you can!
 
2013-11-26 01:56:21 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: powhound: These days, at least in public ed, students can even take PE online! I think they require you to connect a pulse detector to your computer so that the calories burned via fapping can be recorded towards your fitness goals.

Magna cum laude.


i0.kym-cdn.com
 
2013-11-26 01:59:55 AM

bunner: No, but the medium tail wagging the content dog will.  So make sure you sign off on 100k in debt for a traditional degree now.  While you can!


This may or may not be known by the general public, but schools are getting much needed tuition payments form out-of-state and international students, anyone who can't get in-state tuition. If it wasn't for Chinese kids, everyone from R1 to suburban CC would have less money, maybe A LOT less.
 
2013-11-26 02:05:15 AM
All my online classes are moderated by a professor.
 
2013-11-26 02:14:01 AM
Got me a classic lib'rul arts education at a classic little lib'rul arts college (1978-82).

Nothing can replace that happy little cocoon of seminars, discussion groups, research papers and blue-book exams sandwiched in between (1) Mom & Dad & carpools & games and (2) the Cruel Outside World.

World's probably different now, though, huh?
 
2013-11-26 02:16:24 AM
No, it won't. Turns out when you go to an online only class, the failure rate goes through the roof. You need to be a pretty self-motivated learner to do well in that kind of thing and most people aren't. Traditional school has uses, and for a lot of learners it really does help them learn. It's a nice idea and all to say "People can just stay home and use their computers!" but when you try it, the results are not very good. Rather, online will help supplement traditional courses, like the ability to have lectures recorded to rewatch on demand and so on.
 
2013-11-26 02:53:59 AM

Longtooth: All my online classes are moderated by a professor.


Same here, the classes taught online are with the same PhD professors. These classes also come with a higher workload than traditional lectures. I prefer them and the content is easier to reference and refer to for studying. The fun part is the premium fee charged for the same online programs, aka blackboard, that are available to brick and mortar. I gladly pay it for the convenience.
 
2013-11-26 02:54:32 AM
I'd rather sit in class and pretend to pay attention and take a few multiple choice test then sit at home and have to write several multiple page paper every week. 

But hey, maybe that's just me.
 
2013-11-26 03:01:18 AM
The way classes are taught currently, even at liberal arts colleges, is more conducive to online, live learning than lectures in a classroom.

I go to a prestigious, liberal arts college, and most classes are bell-to-bell powerpoint presentations. I trained to work for Apple from home and actually did work for Apple from home, and the pedagogical methods were light-years ahead of what colleges are using. It was more interactive. Easier to focus.

I think it's up to colleges to show that they add value over what you could do online.

Right now the only thing different about me sitting in a classroom watching my professor read a powerpoint presentation than doing the exact same thing from home is that I have to sit next to a bunch of people who are always sick and always getting me sick, meaning I miss class sometimes.

I think colleges should at least open up the option of distance learning, but I know at my particular college they think it would dilute their image. The fact that the actual physical buildings you go to learn in are decrepit doesn't dilute the image for some reason. It's a college where if you come in with transfer credits from courses you took in high school, distance learning will not transfer no matter which university you took it from. They completely fetishisize the idea of a physical building, whether it makes the class interactive or not.
 
2013-11-26 03:03:18 AM
I hope not - I'll never learn to program at that rate. I'm about twenty years too late to learn any substantial skills through tinkering around by myself in my free time (such as it is).
 
2013-11-26 03:20:00 AM
I'm on adjunct faculty at an Illinois University, and while my students would probably love it in theory if the class could be online, I'd be surprised if most of them would prefer it. It's really hard to replace the interaction and discussion you get in a classroom with a screen.

I've taken a few online classes via Coursera and found that you really have to work hard to get the same level of engagement out of the course that you might in person, particularly if the material is challenging. There are advantages (you can replay lectures as much as you like, you can pause the lecture and read the notes or textbook if things don't make sense, you don't have to take arm-breaking written notes, etc), but I have a feeling that studies are going to come out showing that for some students, online classes are detrimental to their ability to learn. I also think the argument will one day be made that online classes are good for quantity, but not quality.

The real question is, "Can I take an online class that will give me access to instructors I couldn't afford to attend classes for on my own?" And in that case, they're very useful, particularly if you want to take a class taught by someone who's moderately high-profile like Dan Ariely or Ezekiel Emmanuel (both of whom teach on Coursera for free). If a popular scientist like Michio Kaku or Neil DeGrasse-Tyson taught an online course that could have an enrollment of tens of thousands of students, people would be all over it just for the novelty of saying they took a class with them. And many of those folks would be international students for whom online classes have been a tremendous boon.
 
2013-11-26 03:21:38 AM
Online classes aren't bad, but they aren't necessarily the best way to learn either.
 
2013-11-26 03:26:42 AM

Veloram: I remember taking one class online when I was starting off with my Assoc. Never do it again. I'm the type of person who has too much going on at home to get anything accomplished. I needed the classroom environment. And I know I'm not the only one out there. As long as people like us exist, there will always be a need for classroom instruction.


Then there's the inevitable time you run into something you need to ask a real live person a question about. Can you ask an online professor in such a way as to get a satisfactory response? No, you cannot. Trust me on this.
 
2013-11-26 03:27:09 AM
I returned to college after 25 years in the real world, one of the classes I wanted was only available on line for that semester so I signed up expecting we would log in to a site and get a live session with the instructor. Nope. Then I expected it would be a video of a PowerPoint  presentation with the instructor's lecture as it progressed through the slides. Nope. It was a PowerPoint slide show, with pic's and just that the pic's w/o any additional data and it was not even animated, just the stills and bullet statements and at the end it had the assignment to read chapters from a book that was different from the presentation.  I had to pay over a hundred bucks for this!!! It was a joke!!
 
HBK
2013-11-26 03:36:09 AM

sycraft: No, it won't. Turns out when you go to an online only class, the failure rate goes through the roof. You need to be a pretty self-motivated learner to do well in that kind of thing and most people aren't. Traditional school has uses, and for a lot of learners it really does help them learn. It's a nice idea and all to say "People can just stay home and use their computers!" but when you try it, the results are not very good. Rather, online will help supplement traditional courses, like the ability to have lectures recorded to rewatch on demand and so on.


I wonder how much of that is the format vs. the students. Aside from low-income, working parent situations, or otherwise exigent circumstances, I'd imagine a lot of the folks are generally not entering the "classroom" as the best students.

How many of those folks are the kind that simply think "my job sucks ... oooh look at that hot education connection girl in the commercials during the Price-is-Right... I can take classes in my underwear?"
 
2013-11-26 03:36:48 AM

I Like Bread: I hope not - I'll never learn to program at that rate. I'm about twenty years too late to learn any substantial skills through tinkering around by myself in my free time (such as it is).


First programming class should be in person. By your third language you could get on a roll just by looking it up...

/VB.NET, Java, Python for me.
//also might be younger than you
 
2013-11-26 03:37:47 AM

HBK: format vs. the students


Not to mention a lack of standards on how to set up the class site, even within a department.
 
HBK
2013-11-26 03:56:12 AM

UsikFark: HBK: format vs. the students

Not to mention a lack of standards on how to set up the class site, even within a department.


If large, reputable universities offered some classes online and then branched that out to a distance learning model, keeping the same curriculum/standards, I think it may be beneficial.

As it stands, most online options are for-profit jokes and most* of the students are those fools P.T. Barnum drooled over.

* Some industries have created an MBA glass ceiling. To advance past a certain level, some industries require an MBA -- any MBA. For those types of purposes, online courses are ideal.
 
2013-11-26 04:02:12 AM

Quackadam: I returned to college after 25 years in the real world, one of the classes I wanted was only available on line for that semester so I signed up expecting we would log in to a site and get a live session with the instructor. Nope. Then I expected it would be a video of a PowerPoint  presentation with the instructor's lecture as it progressed through the slides. Nope. It was a PowerPoint slide show, with pic's and just that the pic's w/o any additional data and it was not even animated, just the stills and bullet statements and at the end it had the assignment to read chapters from a book that was different from the presentation.  I had to pay over a hundred bucks for this!!! It was a joke!!


Uh-huh, but if they'd dragged in a grad student to read the slides to you verbatim and deflect all questions, that would have been worth your money and commute?

I had a C++ prof who conducted every single class that way. He would arrive,turn off the lights, read bullet points aloud word-for-word, say "no questions", turn on the lights, and leave. Attendance was mandatory, as was printing out his power-points according to spec (one-sided, three slides per page, lines for notes). He listed "random notebook checks" as part of our grade, to enforce the printing of the power-points. All semester, the only deviation he made while reading slides aloud was after listing his office hours (by appointment only) he added one word, "Don't."
 
2013-11-26 04:49:28 AM
Online will never replace brick and mortar. Cause businesses have to know that you can show up drunk, on 3 hours of sleep, in the middle of winter, and still finish that project on schedule. You just can't get that experience sitting at home in front of a computer.
 
2013-11-26 04:54:31 AM

haterade: Longtooth: All my online classes are moderated by a professor.

Same here, the classes taught online are with the same PhD professors. These classes also come with a higher workload than traditional lectures. I prefer them and the content is easier to reference and refer to for studying. The fun part is the premium fee charged for the same online programs, aka blackboard, that are available to brick and mortar. I gladly pay it for the convenience.


I took Business Law II online a few years ago, and I'm taking Computer Forensics this semester online, as that's currently the only way my school offers it [prof lives in DC and works for the gov].

Both have been far less interesting than an actual lecture class probably would have been, barring a really terrible instructor. Hell, in Forensics, we barely interact with the prof at ALL. It's more of a survey course than practical, which might be excusable, but he doesn't even respond to our 'discussion board' posts or the few articles we've done. If I wanted to take a correspondence course, I would have... Obviously the school is at least as much to blame as he is (he's a graduate of the school after all), but jeez. Have some respect for your students and interact with them. The law class at least the instructor responded to most posts individually.

All but one or two of my face to face classes have been far more valuable to me, and there is no regret here for taking the time as a returning student, to go to regular classes with the kids.
 
2013-11-26 05:37:45 AM

sycraft: No, it won't. Turns out when you go to an online only class, the failure rate goes through the roof. You need to be a pretty self-motivated learner to do well in that kind of thing and most people aren't. Traditional school has uses, and for a lot of learners it really does help them learn. It's a nice idea and all to say "People can just stay home and use their computers!" but when you try it, the results are not very good. Rather, online will help supplement traditional courses, like the ability to have lectures recorded to rewatch on demand and so on.


DING!  We have a winner.  The college I went to had this very thing happen when they started focusing on online learning.  So much so that they had to build a class into the curriculum that taught the kids about all of the  challenges of online learning.  And it helped, sort of.  The failure rate dropped from the mid-sixties down to forty percent.

In my opinion, the only fields that would actually benefit from online learning would be the jobs that require constant coursework for certifications, etc., and even then it would only be good for continuing education.
 
2013-11-26 07:10:36 AM

Bucky Katt: OgreMagi: Classes are taught by the teacher assistant more often than a real live professor.  You could replace the professor with a chimpanzee and no one would really notice.

This is only at R1 institutions.  Most universities and colleges aren't R1 institutions.


In my 5 1/2 years as an undergrad at one of those Tier 1 research universities, I had a grand total of 2 classes that were not taught by the actual professor.  One was a Statistics class taught by a PhD student, and the other was a class on the history of national security where the PhD student was the instructor and the department chair and another full professor were the TAs (it was bizarre, but kind of awesome).  All those traditionally big classes - Intro to Drama, Intro to Chem, and Intro to Poli-Sci - were still taught by a full or adjunct professor.  Now the Friday class where they broke the 100+ class into 25-student sections?  Those were taught by the TAs, but the professor can't be everywhere at once.

My graduate school was in the grey area of Tier 1/Tier 2, but I never saw a history class taught by a TA unless the professor was sick or the lesson was within the scope of the TA's research.
 
2013-11-26 07:25:20 AM

E5bie: Quackadam: I returned to college after 25 years in the real world, one of the classes I wanted was only available on line for that semester so I signed up expecting we would log in to a site and get a live session with the instructor. Nope. Then I expected it would be a video of a PowerPoint  presentation with the instructor's lecture as it progressed through the slides. Nope. It was a PowerPoint slide show, with pic's and just that the pic's w/o any additional data and it was not even animated, just the stills and bullet statements and at the end it had the assignment to read chapters from a book that was different from the presentation.  I had to pay over a hundred bucks for this!!! It was a joke!!

Uh-huh, but if they'd dragged in a grad student to read the slides to you verbatim and deflect all questions, that would have been worth your money and commute?

I had a C++ prof who conducted every single class that way. He would arrive,turn off the lights, read bullet points aloud word-for-word, say "no questions", turn on the lights, and leave. Attendance was mandatory, as was printing out his power-points according to spec (one-sided, three slides per page, lines for notes). He listed "random notebook checks" as part of our grade, to enforce the printing of the power-points. All semester, the only deviation he made while reading slides aloud was after listing his office hours (by appointment only) he added one word, "Don't."


Jeebus, sounds like the same professor I had.  It wasn't until later I realized this 'professor' was really just supplementing outside employment in the business world.  "Professor" resented training possible labor competition, and so did everything to undermine anyone that showed real programming promise, especially C++.  That's when I started really checking out credentials.

But, I love online classes!  The school of my choice is 1 hour away from my home in the opposite direction of my job.  So, to accommodate an in-class schedule, I would have to take a pay cut because I would be leaving work early, to drive about 2 hours with traffic, just to possibly make the last evening class.  Online, I can log on in the middle of the night, or weekend, or from work, and get stuff done.  My exams are on-site, with ID checks, and proctors, but I can see how less enthusiastic students would be prone to slacking off.
 
2013-11-26 07:48:12 AM
For an introvert like me with mild social anxiety, I learn much better on my own than going to a class. Every class I've taken 90% of the learning is via the book. And I tend to actually get more out of lectures when I'm listening by myself as opposed to sitting in a classroom where I spend half the class in a state of neurosis worrying about crazy things like "Do I have a booger hanging out of my nose?" or "Did I put on deodorant this morning?"

By the time my insane mental dialogue has stopped most of the class has gone by and I'm left wondering what the hell the prof is talking about. So yes, online classes often work better for insane people.
 
2013-11-26 08:24:13 AM

Red Shirt Blues: If schools can remain accredited and this would increase their profit margins, yep. As long as the student loan scheme continues and people slack their way through to a useless degree.


In general terms the professors at most universities are not there to teach undergraduate students.
 
2013-11-26 08:32:29 AM
I've taken college courses at multiple schools before switching to an online school.  Classes are always moderated by a professor.   Lectures are written instead of spoken.  Exams are proctored.  My opinion was online classes are much more challenging than in classroom.  The main benefit of online classes is the flexibility.  I can go to class when I want for as long as I want.  Self discipline is the most challenging part.

Those that knock online schools are snobs in my opinion. Those diploma mills don't help with online schools reputation.  If it's regionally accredited, it's golden. Most brick and mortar schools offer many of their classes online now anyways.
 
2013-11-26 08:37:02 AM
I recently got an MBA (stop mocking me).  When I started, there were actual classes being taught by actual profs.  About halfway through, they started offering the courses online.  Everyone flocked to them, and within a few semesters there were zero courses offered out here in meatspace.  Why?  Because it is much easier, and everyone knows it.  Right about that point, the quality of instruction plummeted sharply and I only stuck with it because of the effort that I had already devoted to the program.

I think that online education might be a useful thing, but all I've seen of it is just awful.
 
2013-11-26 08:49:23 AM

Gyrfalcon: Veloram: I remember taking one class online when I was starting off with my Assoc. Never do it again. I'm the type of person who has too much going on at home to get anything accomplished. I needed the classroom environment. And I know I'm not the only one out there. As long as people like us exist, there will always be a need for classroom instruction.

Then there's the inevitable time you run into something you need to ask a real live person a question about. Can you ask an online professor in such a way as to get a satisfactory response? No, you cannot. Trust me on this.


<raises hand>

As an online professor, let me answer that rhetorical question. Yes, you can. Trust me on this. My students have my email addresses, telephone numbers, and Skype address. They can get in touch with me at any time of the day. There is greater connection with my online students than I had with traditional students. Traditional students I would see once or twice a week and rarely saw them outside of class. From my experience, most traditional universities today actively discourage contact between professors and students outside of the classroom setting for fear of legal difficulties such as frivolous sexual harassment charges.

On the other hand, as someone pointed out earlier, the failure rate in my online classes is much higher than my traditional lecture courses ever were. The reason for the higher failure rate is that many of the students have the same mistaken impression that you and several others in this thread have -- that online means cheap, easy, quick, and effortless. Maybe that's how it was for you. There are a few online providers for whom high "success" rates and high retention rates-- give everybody an "A"-- are more important than academic quality, integrity, or standards.

On the gripping hand, it's probably fair to say that some of the comments posted in this thread come from those who have no first-hand experience with online learning.

Meh.
 
2013-11-26 09:17:56 AM

Diagonal: Gyrfalcon: Veloram: I remember taking one class online when I was starting off with my Assoc. Never do it again. I'm the type of person who has too much going on at home to get anything accomplished. I needed the classroom environment. And I know I'm not the only one out there. As long as people like us exist, there will always be a need for classroom instruction.

Then there's the inevitable time you run into something you need to ask a real live person a question about. Can you ask an online professor in such a way as to get a satisfactory response? No, you cannot. Trust me on this.

<raises hand>

As an online professor, let me answer that rhetorical question. Yes, you can. Trust me on this. My students have my email addresses, telephone numbers, and Skype address. They can get in touch with me at any time of the day. There is greater connection with my online students than I had with traditional students. Traditional students I would see once or twice a week and rarely saw them outside of class. From my experience, most traditional universities today actively discourage contact between professors and students outside of the classroom setting for fear of legal difficulties such as frivolous sexual harassment charges.

On the other hand, as someone pointed out earlier, the failure rate in my online classes is much higher than my traditional lecture courses ever were. The reason for the higher failure rate is that many of the students have the same mistaken impression that you and several others in this thread have -- that online means cheap, easy, quick, and effortless. Maybe that's how it was for you. There are a few online providers for whom high "success" rates and high retention rates-- give everybody an "A"-- are more important than academic quality, integrity, or standards.

On the gripping hand, it's probably fair to say that some of the comments posted in this thread come from those who have no first-hand experience with online learning.

Meh.


I've only taken a couple classes online through a big accredited university, and my impression was that they tended to dramatically ramp up the busy work seemingly out of the fear that the class would become a joke if they didn't require all the extra work. I was concurrently carrying conventional classes and I was investing more time into the online courses, which was by far the easier subject matter, than any of the conventional classes I was taking. The failure rate may indeed be the result of extra time needed, and when people are taking online classes it's usually out of the need to save time.
 
2013-11-26 09:23:37 AM
Tenured STEM prof at directional state school here. There is good online, and bad online. There is good F2F and bad F2F. And some stuff just doesn't map well to the online format. It will take a few years before the smoke clears from the online gold rush. The mantra at my institution is, a class is a class is a class. We have an entire division dedicated to overseeing the creation and staffing of online courses. These people are a pain in the ass but at least the final product has some oversight. Most of the people developing and teaching the online courses are adjunct faculty, not regular (tenured/tenure track) faculty.

For profit institutions, whether F2F or online, can eat a bag of dicks. Follow the money. It's a complete boondoggle. The feds need to stop giving loans for students to "attend" these places.

MOOCs are probably here to stay but I suspect an undergraduate at a typical institution might take one or two throughout their entire undergraduate years. Honestly I think MOOCs are the kind of thing professors would be interested in taking more than students, just to learn more from someone who is big in the field.
 
2013-11-26 09:32:58 AM
I've taken quite a few online courses and my general take on it is that you pay extra and are loaded down with around 3 times as much work. Being in the classroom you will listen to the instructor jabber for the duration of the lecture - take notes - maybe an essay or quizzes will show up but outside work is minimal. Hell half the time they don't even use the book that was assigned for the course.

Now my experience with online courses is much different. Most of the time you will need the book. You will need to read chapters of material to answer multiple questions in paragraph form. Write weekly responses to other sets of questions on the discussion board, reply to X amount of students based on their responses - must be an intelligent response also in paragraph form, throw in some quizzes, a couple essays and sections tests.

/I would strongly suggest taking gen eds at the college if you have the means to get there
//I have social anxiety and will give myself panic attacks around large groups of people. Even then I will still opt for classroom over the shiat that is online.
///Wife would get pissed at me for being on my computer doing "homework" all the time. Then I showed her my daily agenda to finish all my weekly work, it was quite absurd. This didn't even factor in essays or other nonsense that would pop up.
 
2013-11-26 09:35:39 AM

b0rscht: Tenured STEM prof at directional state school here. There is good online, and bad online. There is good F2F and bad F2F. And some stuff just doesn't map well to the online format. It will take a few years before the smoke clears from the online gold rush. The mantra at my institution is, a class is a class is a class. We have an entire division dedicated to overseeing the creation and staffing of online courses. These people are a pain in the ass but at least the final product has some oversight. Most of the people developing and teaching the online courses are adjunct faculty, not regular (tenured/tenure track) faculty.

For profit institutions, whether F2F or online, can eat a bag of dicks. Follow the money. It's a complete boondoggle. The feds need to stop giving loans for students to "attend" these places.

MOOCs are probably here to stay but I suspect an undergraduate at a typical institution might take one or two throughout their entire undergraduate years. Honestly I think MOOCs are the kind of thing professors would be interested in taking more than students, just to learn more from someone who is big in the field.


I'd add people in industry and people who aren't enrolled in a degree-seeking program to that list.

One other thing, there are a large number of universities whose undergraduate programs are basically meat grinders for money - they consist of professors teaching classes they really don't want to teach (I'm a leader in my field! Why do I have to teach intro chem?) or are unqualified to teach (teaching consists of me reading the book out loud during class). The rare professor that likes teaching, that is good at it, often encounters students who have become disheartened and disinterested by bad professors (and 12 years experience with mediocre-at-best teachers in the public school system) that it is difficult to engage them in any meaningful way.

If a student manages to avoid becoming grist for the money mill, then they start to get professors in their degree area that are interested in your education.

MOOCs may solve problems at these institutions, where schools don't want to pay for teachers to teach 'basic classes' and instead expect research professors to 'do their time' teaching things they don't want to (Intro to Circuits, that's beneath me).

/no I'm not bitter
//not bitter at all
 
2013-11-26 09:38:08 AM

Veloram: I remember taking one class online when I was starting off with my Assoc. Never do it again. I'm the type of person who has too much going on at home to get anything accomplished. I needed the classroom environment. And I know I'm not the only one out there. As long as people like us exist, there will always be a need for classroom instruction.


Same here. It's way too easy to surf for por... to browse Fark at home than it is in the classroom. Also easier to ignore YouTube, TVtropes and Wikipedia in a crowd of other students.
 
2013-11-26 09:50:58 AM

UsikFark: I Like Bread: I hope not - I'll never learn to program at that rate. I'm about twenty years too late to learn any substantial skills through tinkering around by myself in my free time (such as it is).

First programming class should be in person. By your third language you could get on a roll just by looking it up...

/VB.NET, Java, Python for me.
//also might be younger than you


I had one paying gig on collect for Java programming. Everything since then has been C and Tcl/Tk. And while I tell people I started C programming when I was 16, I still feel old saying I've been programming in it for 22 years.
 
2013-11-26 10:12:46 AM

imashark: MOOCs are probably here to stay but I suspect an undergraduate at a typical institution might take one or two throughout their entire undergraduate years. Honestly I think MOOCs are the kind of thing professors would be interested in taking more than students, just to learn more from someone who is big in the field.
.....

MOOCs may solve problems at these institutions, where schools don't want to pay for teachers to teach 'basic classes' and instead expect research professors to 'do their time' teaching things they don't want to (Intro to Circuits, that's beneath me).


MOOCs are the new big shiny object in education and every institution is crapping the bed about them (I know I work at one which is working on developing them)

Administrations only see the big numbers. "20,000 people signed up for this course on coursera" - they skip over this part: "sign up for free and only 1-2% actually complete the material and there is no quality control."  You may have completed the course, but how do I know if  you learned anything, there were no graded assignments (or worse assignments graded by other people in the MOOC)

so, institutions are trying to mimic this while making the following adjustments: having students pay, and somehow grading their work by vetted individuals.

GaTech is developing a MS in computer science MOOC style program.  If it is successful, they will decimate other MS programs around the country...their goals are to graduate thousands of MS students per year...almost more than graduate in the whole country at all institutions combined.  And they plan on doing this with a skeleton crew of support.  Some how 5 people will grade 1000's of assignments. it will be interesting to watch:

few links for the curious: http://www.gizmag.com/georgia-tech--graduate-computer-science-degree- m ooc/28763/

http://chronicle.com/article/Ga-Tech-to-Offer-a-MOOC-Like/139245/

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/07/georgia_ te ch_s_computer_science_mooc_the_super_cheap_master_s_degree_that.html
 
2013-11-26 10:38:23 AM

Gyrfalcon: Veloram: I remember taking one class online when I was starting off with my Assoc. Never do it again. I'm the type of person who has too much going on at home to get anything accomplished. I needed the classroom environment. And I know I'm not the only one out there. As long as people like us exist, there will always be a need for classroom instruction.

Then there's the inevitable time you run into something you need to ask a real live person a question about. Can you ask an online professor in such a way as to get a satisfactory response? No, you cannot. Trust me on this.


I wouldn't trust you on this one. How can you give such an absolute answer for all online courses like that? This all depends on the school and how they run their online courses. I took a lot of online courses at a college near me, and I felt they were as good or bad as courses I took on campus. "Ask an online professor in such a way...?" What do you mean? In courses I took, there were message boards to ask questions and see responses for everyone, scheduled times where students could use instant message for questions, and email.

On the other hand I had two semesters of a business course on campus taught by the same professor. Though I think overall his performance was good, he was not that good of a communicator and sometimes the class had to ask him to clarify things he said in terms of assignments.

Online classes can be as good or bad as on campus classes. If your a good self-motivated person and your research shows your college has high quality online courses, I'd say go for it.
 
2013-11-26 10:43:13 AM

Evil Twin Skippy: UsikFark: I Like Bread: I hope not - I'll never learn to program at that rate. I'm about twenty years too late to learn any substantial skills through tinkering around by myself in my free time (such as it is).

First programming class should be in person. By your third language you could get on a roll just by looking it up...

/VB.NET, Java, Python for me.
//also might be younger than you

I had one paying gig on collect for Java programming. Everything since then has been C and Tcl/Tk. And while I tell people I started C programming when I was 16, I still feel old saying I've been programming in it for 22 years.


I plan to learn tk for Python very soon, just so I can click on things. Java is the preferred language at the big college here, but everyone is saying I should take the c++ route. I really like python at the moment, I have a "real" project of working with images (arrays.)
 
Displayed 50 of 61 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report