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How Does The Online Version Of A Standard College Course Compare To The Live Version?


ASSUMING SAME PRICE - How Does The Value Of An Online Version Of A Standard College Course Compare To The Live Version?  

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Thanks @beer 30  for bringing this up in another thread.

It looks like many universities are going to be back to online classes this fall as live classes are canceled.

Tuition is the same cost.

Some people say the live experience is much better than online.

Some people say the online experience is as good or better than the live experience.

And for sure, it depends on the class. For this case, assume a basic undergraduate level class.

What do you think?

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I’m sure the curriculum is the same or at least close. The relationship building with fellow students or even professors is obviously nowhere near the same and to me that’s a demonstrably large part of the college experience that people are paying for. 

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I think for the class lecture itself it is essentially equal.  It's an instructor up there lecturing.  What is missing and where the cost difference really comes in is the interaction with student body.  It is the campus benefits like cafeteria access, gym access, etc (that are all paid for by tuition).  Access to in person office time with instructors for clarification etc.  These things are part of the college experience and fees are taken out of your tuition to cover these costs.  Now none of that is available yet the costs stay the same tuition wise.  That is where the value is taking it's biggest hit.


This of course does nothing with respect to more hands on classes like labs, engineering design classes, etc where being hands on and interactive is critical to learning.  For a basic general ed English clash there probably isn't much difference to an online lecture vs in person lecture. 

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For me, the best part about college was the live interactions with my professor and my classmates. Well, actually that was the 2nd best part. (The best part was the live interactions with the pretty girls every day and every night.)

Take that away and there is zero point of going to college. I'd rather get a job for a year and save up some money.

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I said this before, but IMO 90% of the personal growth from college is learning to live as an adult on your own. Getting the degree is just a box checking exercise, required to get your foot in the door of the first company you work at. The first day you work your first "professional" job, your degree becomes worthless and your job experience is all that matters. From what I have seen in STEM related fields, no matter how tough or specific the interview questions are, the day someone starts they are treated as if they know nothing. I cannot name one thing I learned in college that was useful for a job. The degree was required to GET the job, but for actually doing the job everything was learned after being hired.

Edited by huthut
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My son was in his second semester of college in the spring when they shut down and finished online. Coincidentally, he was academic all conference for the baseball team. Was it a sign of good things to come or a one-off, time will tell. Like Kutta alluded to, I think the requirements were less stringent. 

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Generally:

In person from a professor >> in person from a GA >> community college >>>> online.

My wife just finished a semester's worth of classes from Sophia for free in less than 2 months. She's only doing it to get back into the mindset of classes as she might pursue her master's soon. She commented how she aced the tests but doesn't feel like she learned much. 

I've only taken 80 hours of CLE recently online, via zoom. It was okay but really missed out on the in person, meeting people aspects. 

 

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44 minutes ago, huthut said:

I said this before, but IMO 90% of the personal growth from college is learning to live as an adult on your own. Getting the degree is just a box checking exercise, required to get your foot in the door of the first company you work at. The first day you work your first "professional" job, your degree becomes worthless and your job experience is all that matters. From what I have seen in STEM related fields, no matter how tough or specific the interview questions are, the day someone starts they are treated as if they know nothing. I cannot name one thing I learned in college that was useful for a job. The degree was required to GET the job, but for actually doing the job everything was learned after being hired.

It's been said that learning how to learn is the most important thing. Maybe that is high school too, but definitely more so in college imo.

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6 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

It's been said that learning how to learn is the most important thing. Maybe that is high school too, but definitely more so in college imo.

That is true, but also I feel like it is also somewhat gating. Sure, while knowing calculus might not useful for a job (especially if you can use a computer to do it), it means they have a lot less resumes to dig through by making it a degree requirement. I always felt physics served that purpose for the hard sciences, just a way to weed out a bunch of people. 

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1 hour ago, Joe Bryant said:

Some people say the online experience is as good or better than the live experience.

I can't imagine this scenario unless it is a kid with social anxiety, a physical disability or some other condition that makes live attendance problematic.

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2 minutes ago, huthut said:

That is true, but also I feel like it is also somewhat gating. Sure, while knowing calculus might not useful for a job (especially if you can use a computer to do it), it means they have a lot less resumes to dig through by making it a degree requirement. I always felt physics served that purpose for the hard sciences, just a way to weed out a bunch of people. 

Completely agreed.

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I teach graphic design (adjunct) at our local college, and while on line might be acceptable for some degrees, hands on programs like mine make it very challenging. I can give my lecture online no problem, however when it comes to the lab/design part of my class I lose the "look over the shoulder" aspect that helps me work with students and help them advance their projects. Therefore, I have to now build in more time for check in's and reviews of the work, so I expect to get about +/- 1/3d less actual projects in bc we will be using more online time to review things. I know people talk about the cost being the same, and while I dont get paid by the hour, I am now spending more time answering and discussing issues that would have come up and addressed in the class 1x and been able to talk to everyone at once. 

I know I have a lot to learn about online courses and this summer I invested some time in learning other procedures. For instance, our intranet has a discussion board similar to FBG. As the professor, I will have to use that more often and stimulate free conversation within that board throughout the semester. It will have to be come part fo an assignment that might replace a physical design project. 

I've also been talking to another professor friend of mine and we see that students are not using the college's intranet as much as they should b/c it is rather cold, impersonal, and its not a "cool" place for the students to be. So we have started looking at ways to "go to where they are" to reach them and help support the classroom stuff. So for instance i've started a TicTok account, and while I won't be doing any silly dances (yet) I can post quick examples and engagement pieces that support what we are learning about. It cant be anything directly required to see, and I dont expect everyone to follow me, but I can use it to support some core design ideas. 

 

Ironically, I also took a class this summer as a student (Marketing) and got absolutely NOTHING out of it. I could have just bought the book and saved myself the hassle. The teacher had zero interaction with the students, just assigned reading and a 2 page paper each week. The "presentation" was text copied directly from the textbook and she tossed in a youtube video (not hers) to watch that touched on a point in that chapter.

One assignment each week was to answer a discussion question in the forum, and then comment on 2 other student's posts. On the last week, I went to comment on another student's post and found out he completely copied mine word for word. Upon further review, I find out he had done it to me at other times throughout the semester. I called it out ot the professor, but it was clear that she wasn't even reading the responses, or at least just going through and seeing if it was completed.  

Taking the course as a student really opened my eyes to how bad the overall "online experience" is. 

Edited by glvsav37
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1 hour ago, kutta said:

My daughter is a senior in college this year. She has said numerous times that online classes are much less rigorous that in-person classes. 

I can tell you that this is an extremely common experience.  It's not true of every single online class, of course, but generally online classes are significantly easier than their face-to-face counterparts.

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29 minutes ago, Nigel said:

I can't imagine this scenario unless it is a kid with social anxiety, a physical disability or some other condition that makes live attendance problematic.

I took a lecture class this summer and it was useful to be able to pause and rewind the lecture when necessary.  That's one advantage of online over live.  Although I don't think it makes up for all the disadvantages.

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2 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

What do you think?

I really think it depends a lot on the student. Some do well in an online environment, some don't. Both of my girls are very hands on learners. They do well in classes when there is interaction, discussion back & forth, etc. You lose a lot of that in the virtual world and the one still in school struggled with online. She'll just bull her way through it and do well but it's not optimal for her style of learning.

1 hour ago, huthut said:

I said this before, but IMO 90% of the personal growth from college is learning to live as an adult on your own. Getting the degree is just a box checking exercise, required to get your foot in the door of the first company you work at. The first day you work your first "professional" job, your degree becomes worthless and your job experience is all that matters. From what I have seen in STEM related fields, no matter how tough or specific the interview questions are, the day someone starts they are treated as if they know nothing. I cannot name one thing I learned in college that was useful for a job. The degree was required to GET the job, but for actually doing the job everything was learned after being hired.

I've told both my girls this and while I think there is some value to the education, the vast majority of what I think people are looking for from a college graduate is that you made it through with something resembling a C or above grade point. I think it's disingenuous to promote these degree's as huge money makers when schools are churning out thousands of graduates in most all major categories and invariably graduates have to take positions not even associated with their majors to make ends meet right out of college on top of the debt they incur.

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Depends on the student, their level and the material. Online will have more advantages for really self motivated students, project based classes, stronger students. Weaker students with lower level skills, motivation, organization or classes where the teacher is actually teaching something that is difficult to understand, I think in person is preferred. 

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2 hours ago, huthut said:

From what I have seen in STEM related fields, no matter how tough or specific the interview questions are, the day someone starts they are treated as if they know nothing. I cannot name one thing I learned in college that was useful for a job. The degree was required to GET the job, but for actually doing the job everything was learned after being hired.

Eh, I'm sure this is true for a lot of degrees/fields but when I hire a statistician or a data scientist I expect them to know how to do those things on day 1.  I ask tough interview questions because I need to know I won't have to teach you that stuff if I hire you.  :shrug:  

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45 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

I took a lecture class this summer and it was useful to be able to pause and rewind the lecture when necessary.  That's one advantage of online over live.  

Yeah that's a big one.  Being able to view lectures and do coursework on your own schedule is an advantage.  Also, time wasted commuting to/from classes is better spent doing pretty much anything else.  

I think in general online is probably worse than in-person, but I'm not sure it's inherently worse.  It's just our typical implementation of online education isn't all that it could be. 

As others have noted, the real benefit of the on-campus college experience isn't really being in class, is everything else that comes with it.  The value of an online course is probably roughly the same as the same course attended in person, but I wouldn't pay the same tuition for a semester of online college as I'd pay to be on campus. 

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Yeah,  it must suck to spend a year of college like this.  Most of us only get 4 years and I cant imagine wasting one of them living at my parents' house and taking online classes.

As many others have said, for many of us, its not about the material you learn (I was a history major and don't use my degree). Its about growing up, meeting people (all my best friends), making memories,  finding yourself and learning SOME skills that help you at some point down the road (writing, time management, etc.).

I really feel for the current college crop. Can't be easy.

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36 minutes ago, TLEF316 said:

Yeah,  it must suck to spend a year of college like this.  Most of us only get 4 years and I cant imagine wasting one of them living at my parents' house and taking online classes.

 

And bonus points, the cost is exactly the same as if you'd been in person.

That was the flashpoint for me. And why I asked the question. I had some folks (in the education field) say I was dead wrong to say the online experience was inferior. 

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3 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

These people are fooling themselves -- it's cognitive dissonance.

Agreed. It often devolves into "We're working really hard".

I'm, "Uh, I hope so as much as this is costing."

Or "We have buildings to pay for". 

I'm "Correct. YOU have buildings to pay for."

This feels like maybe the wakeup call to highlight how broken some of this is. 

 

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There's no comparison. Some folks (staff& students) will still try to convince themselves and others the value of online degree/coursework is the same though. I get it. 

I feel for the students and the parents flushing that same money (cost) down the toilet.

 

Edited by Craig_MiamiFL
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I think there are a couple of distinct points:

  • I don't think employers are going to look at your degree and see less value if you took a semester of classes online.  If you are able to complete that semester from home without paying room and board, this could be a much better value.
  • Many schools were already going to a "Flipped Classroom" method pre-Covid.  College students are already used to watching videos online and submitting homework and quizzes through Blackboard/Canvas or other online platform.
  • Students have the option to sit the semester/year out - they can determine if finishing their degree at 23 vs 24 matters to them. 
  • Interactions in many classes were online before Covid.  Trying to get a group of 5 together with various class schedules and school activities is already nearly impossible.
  • I don't think college over the last 20 years has been a good value.
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Others have covered it as well, a very big part is the relationships you build. You aren't going to have (as many of) those same opportunities. Those opportunities that lead to friendships, internships, careers, etc...

Decent online courses can be offered but minus all the relationships/decreased quality (imo)/less interactions/lax live attendance req etc... they're mostly akin to extra years of high school that you're getting bent over for.

Something overlooked is the young adult learning and having the responsibility to get up and walk/drive to class at a specific time and place.

 

Edited by Craig_MiamiFL
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I have a lot of experience with education delivery for internal and external audiences including on-premise, live virtual classes, recorded training, blended learning, and a bunch of other stuff. I have delivered, taught people how to deliver, and attended all of these, too. 

Online can be as good as or better than live. There are things that it's even better for. Some topics don't lend themselves to hearing it once and being done.  Try sitting next to a noisy neighbor while you're trying to learn a complex topic.  Try memorizing something that you only see once on the chalkboard/presentation screen.

It's even worse in college. Many college lectures are taught by TAs, not the professor you wanted, and the professor doesn't change their delivery of the lecture to make sure everyone understands. In a lot of cases, they deliver the content once, expect you to read their overpriced book and then they don't teach it again.  You can try to get time during office hours, but that's a limited number of hours and for some classes there's a lot of competition for that time. 

Recorded training has none of those problems. You can watch the presentation and pause it if you have to pee.  You can download the materials and read them at your leisure (you might still have to buy the overpriced book though).  It's like the difference between broadcast television and on demand - how often do you choose live tv for anything but sports or news anymore? 

Online training - live orvrecorded - also means you don't need to travel. You don't need room and board to attend the school you want.  You don't need to pay for a cafeteria and fitness center and sports team and research facility for something that's not even related to your major. There are massive costs that are passed down to students because they have access to loans and the students are competing for a limited resource - people with this name on their diploma get better jobs later.  

But it also has some drawbacks. 

You don't get the social aspect.  Outside class or in class.  Some people learn better by studying together, or learn by teaching other people, or need to see how other students study to learn how to get good.  You don't usually get that online.

You also need skilled instructors who not only understand the topic, but the technology. That's a hard skill to train people on.  The first few years that we implemented online training at my company, therevwere people who hate it and others who loved it. The ones who hated it often struggled with the technology, but it's also a million little tricks.  Like in an online class, how do you know if the students are paying attention?  Strike that, if they don't want to listen, that's on them.  But how do you keep them engaged so they do want to listen? 

If it's a live class, do you call on your students by name, or ask open questions and have them answer in the chat? Do you post a recording of your live material, or build a separate recording library?  Is your recorded material just video of a live lecture?  Those are not engaging to me at all.  Or do you try one of those cool whiteboard marker presentations where they make a huge drawing and voice over it? Do you give tests and quizzes?  Use any online tools that are more interactive?  

In fact, which tool makes the most sense for a given task?  Maybe one day we need to learn a bunch of facts, and that's best done in an interactive recording that is short and memorable and has cool video reinforcement. Another day is a complex topic so we have a live class with questions and answers but a recording that was done without those questions. Did any of you take a class where you were all supposed to give a short presentation, so the class is 5 minutes of you talking and 85 minutes of you watching your classmates.  Couldn't that be improved online so you can have smaller breakout groups? 

Good professors have learned a lot of those skills already - for the physical classroom. They've learned how to memorize everyone's face and name the first couple days so they can call on you by name. That's completely unnecessary online. It's just a hugely different set of skills. 

So... I voted that it will be worse, because I suspect that a lot of these schools and their students are at the bottom of a steep learning curve and they are not ready to deliver the quality experience that they did live. When they start using the huge array of tools that are out there, and matching the right tool to the right task, and offering zoom study groups and other kinds of community interaction, and when the students start learning how to use these things - they may be able to be as good as or better than live on premise education.  But for now it's just not an industry that has adopted these things very well yet, and their users/students are not sophisticated or experienced enough to demand what they need yet. 

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52 minutes ago, Nugget said:

I think there are a couple of distinct points:

  • I don't think employers are going to look at your degree and see less value if you took a semester of classes online.  If you are able to complete that semester from home without paying room and board, this could be a much better value.
  • Many schools were already going to a "Flipped Classroom" method pre-Covid.  College students are already used to watching videos online and submitting homework and quizzes through Blackboard/Canvas or other online platform.
  • Students have the option to sit the semester/year out - they can determine if finishing their degree at 23 vs 24 matters to them. 
  • Interactions in many classes were online before Covid.  Trying to get a group of 5 together with various class schedules and school activities is already nearly impossible.
  • I don't think college over the last 20 years has been a good value.

Mainly addressing the first and last points - I agree that employers will not look at a degree and lower the value of it due to online classes, I think the point is that you are still paying 100% for some sub-100% service (whatever % it is is subjective, someone might have it at 25% while someone else might have it at 95%). College in the last 20 years has become almost mandatory unless you learn a trade, so while its value has decreased it is more necessary than ever because the people you are competing for jobs with sure went. Most people I know do not have jobs related to their degree at all, some it is better (have a friend with a history degree that is making well above average money as a people manager at a very large and well known company), many have it worse (numerous friends working as lower level management for retail stores). 

Edited by huthut
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Now read the comments thread underneath. Here's some of the highlights

"If you have a child abusing chat, what are your options? You can try to put them in a breakout room, but the child has to accept. If not, it doesn't work. And if you want to disable chat for the problem student only, you can't. You have to turn it off for everyone.

Not only are teachers having to learn new technology, that technology is ####### garbage and not suited to classroom use at all.

Edit: it seems auto breakout rooms exist. Thank you to those who suggested it."

"You can mute kids so they can't comment. Go to delete the comment and then click mute student."

"There we go, a solution to the problem. Teachers need a forum with resources to get this info out there"

"I've been IT for schools... The vast majority of educators refuse to learn how to use the tools they are given. They will blame the IT staff and pass their frustration off onto the students.

I've sat through the classes that are supposed to teach them the tools... They ignore them and just chat away with their friends. I have long since lost count of the tickets I fielded that were answered in the seminars introducing the teachers to the tools."

"there is tech that is helpful and actually can improve instruction but that has nothing to do with our IT staff. They are responsible for the network and the hardware. They have nothing to do with software based Ed tech that could be helpful and aren't asked to be. We have other teachers who take care of that because how are IT folks, who have never been in a classroom, be well versed in educational software? And when teaching computer science I found out they don't know anything about what is needed to get kids programing on our restrictive school network. I spent an entire year trying to get what I needed and ended up having to use all web based crap because they didn't do a thing.

So yeah, some teachers refuse to try tech but let's not assume we know why or even if that's a bad thing. Now that we are teaching remotely, there's a lot to learn and it's not just technology. Teaching remotely is a totally different ballgame."

 

Granted, this is about grade school, not university level, but it's the same kind of problems that educators are facing everywhere.  The learning curve last spring helped, but this fall is still going to be a huge challenge. Teachers have tools, they don't fully know how to use them, or how to use them to handle real life issues, they aren't always well supported, the kids learn how to use those tools faster than they do...

It's a huge undertaking to implement something like this on a small scale with proper investment and time to plan. They are being asked to implement it on the fly because the pandemic and school year are dictating the timeline and the investment is still in the very early stages.

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Since it's a distinct possibility that WFH becomes the normal working environment isn't it possible that these online courses is actually a fairly productive learning experience to move to the WFH environment that seems to be what the majority of people think will become the new norm?  From that point it may actually be a benefit.  However, I still don't think that benefit overcomes the loss of the learning to live aspect of going to classes and figuring out how to schedule your life to get things done.

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It might be unwise for colleges to say the online experience is equal value. That may leave them vulnerable to some arguments.

There are several ways to look at this:

A. If it is equal value, the "experience" part of college is apparently not baked into the value. If classes are online with experiences completely eliminated and the cost remains the same, how can we interpret it any other way? The value is strictly the education. Not networking. Not the relationships. Not the experience of living on your own. By going online and not reducing the cost, the college completely misinterprets their target audience. Yes, kids go to school for an education. However, that's not the only reason.

B. If it is equal value, they're saying the product remains unchanged whether in-person or online. If it were inferior, the price would be reduced. If the price is not reduced, then it cannot be interpreted any way other than the product is the same. Does this not hurt the local market the school is in? If kids aren't in physical school, the local market/economy takes a hit. By admitting the product is the same and by not baking the in-person aspect into the cost, they're inadvertently saying "We don't need to be in-person anymore."

C. If the product is the same and the value is in the education and only the education (at least in the eyes of the college), why have a physical college building anymore? The experiences require face to face interaction. Why have a physical building if the value is only in the education which can (apparently) be equally presented online? 

However, we know all of this to be a moot point. The "experience" is baked into the cost as the college sells kids on the memories they will make. We know they need a physical building. We know if they went remote completely, they'd take a massive hit revenue wise. 

It might be wiser for schools to say, "In-person is greatly valued. We need to be in-person. Online can be a short term fix given the circumstances of the pandemic, but it isn't a long term solution. Therefore, tuition will be reduced if online." Perhaps some schools can't afford to take a hit tuition wise. I have a hard time believing it, but I also haven't deeply researched the budgets of many schools.

Some schools are reducing the tuition cost, so it is unfair to label colleges all in a single group.

I'm not sure much of it matters. College is the only game in town. Higher education has been a near requirement (at least this is the generally held view) for furthering oneself in today's day and age. They have the market cornered. And I think they know it which is why they feel they can charge an equal amount. They know the experiences are baked into the cost. They're presenting an illogical argument because, well, I think they feel they can do so and get away with it. 

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Satire

Quote

I’m writing to announce the immediate, successful conclusion of Phase One of our Campus Comeback™ initiative! Your hard work and dedication have resulted in a wonderful and memorable first week of the Fall semester. Now, thanks to your efforts, along with a sharp and completely unforeseeable spike in COVID-19 cases, we will be entering Campus Comeback™ Phase Two, in which we will immediately convert to online-only learning and everyone on campus is ordered to shelter in place.

 

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On 8/18/2020 at 2:43 PM, TLEF316 said:

Yeah,  it must suck to spend a year of college like this.  Most of us only get 4 years and I cant imagine wasting one of them living at my parents' house and taking online classes.

As many others have said, for many of us, its not about the material you learn (I was a history major and don't use my degree). Its about growing up, meeting people (all my best friends), making memories,  finding yourself and learning SOME skills that help you at some point down the road (writing, time management, etc.).

I really feel for the current college crop. Can't be easy.

😪

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There are a lot of pros to online:

Some students have very busy schedules.  Some campuses are spread out and not everyone has a car.  It might take 30 minutes to get to a class.  The student may be tired from working or practising a sport when the class is supposed to meet.  May not have time to eat properly. Some students are easily distracted. Some professors may not always give a good lecture.   When I went to college, people were always pulling fire alarms. ...

For exams, they take steps to eliminate cheating, but  I think if someone really wanted to cheat it wouldn't be too difficult.

 

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Depends on the type of class imo.  Some things are just impossible to replicate online.  But if you're talking one of those classes where there are 300 people in a big lecture hall I think online can be just as good, if not better.  Generally I think though that the level is not as good and part of the tuition is the campus experience which they are currently not providing.

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First day of school yesterday, 2 online classes that were pre-recorded so she didn't have to be online at a certain time. One of the two had no content prepared. I typically get a little bent when a professor skips out on class with no notice but I get it, life happens, you get sick, kid doesn't feel well, whatever. This though...first day of what everyone knows is going to be an online class and just a thoroughly ####ed up semester, you've had all summer to prep and nada? Nothing, no content, no sorry I was busy, my dog ate the presentation, just nothing.

C'mon man!

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2 hours ago, beer 30 said:

I'll bite, 25-30%. No rhyme or reason, just picking a number. 1/4 or a 1/3, pick your poison. 

It's a tough question to answer. Princeton University is offering 10% discount. Same with Georgetown. Not sure I've seen higher than 10% thus far, perhaps I've missed a few. Lots of schools obviously are not offering discounts. 

On the topic of higher education, did anyone see this from Google: https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/google-plan-disrupt-college-degree-university-higher-education-certificate-project-management-data-analyst.html?cid=sf01001

I previously said college was the only game in town. Is this the start of something new? Is the "we're charging you 50k for Zoom classes" the thing that's going to change how things are done? 

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24 minutes ago, Don't Toews Me said:

It's a tough question to answer. Princeton University is offering 10% discount. Same with Georgetown. Not sure I've seen higher than 10% thus far, perhaps I've missed a few. Lots of schools obviously are not offering discounts. 

On the topic of higher education, did anyone see this from Google: https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/google-plan-disrupt-college-degree-university-higher-education-certificate-project-management-data-analyst.html?cid=sf01001

I previously said college was the only game in town. Is this the start of something new? Is the "we're charging you 50k for Zoom classes" the thing that's going to change how things are done? 

I graduated with a BS in Accounting. My goal was to sit for and pass the CPA but I was never what I would consider CPA material. After college I took the Becker CPA Review course that ran for (I think) 4-5 months before the exam. I had a friend who sat through it and passed the exam first time through. He told me they will literally tell you everything you need to pass the exam, you just have to put in the time to digest it. He was right, I didn't but I came out of the experience with the realization that I learned more in that review pertaining to my field of choice than I did in 6 years of school (there is a story).

That was probably the moment I realized that college, for a very large portion of students, is much more about the experience & social growth than the education. That's only been reinforced over the next 30 years of work. If my experience is similar to most than paying full bhote for zoom classes negate the benefit of actually going to college. Google's format makes a helluva lot more sense to the common man if we are forced to go online for a elongated period of time. Universities are dinosaurs compared to the online world of Google and all they can bring to bear. See my example above, can't even make a day 1 class that you've known about for months.

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I finished my undergrad mostly online, and that was fine. I think taking all things into consideration, it’s probably the best option. 

But in-person is definitely a better experience. The online discussions are forced and inauthentic. They’re basically just busy work. You also miss out on meeting people who might impact your career. 

Which is why I strongly encourage going in-person as much as possible for graduate school. I took most of my classes for my MPA in person and can pretty much attribute my career to meeting people there. A lot of your classmates are professionals and the contacts you make there are invaluable.

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20 hours ago, beer 30 said:

I graduated with a BS in Accounting. My goal was to sit for and pass the CPA but I was never what I would consider CPA material. After college I took the Becker CPA Review course that ran for (I think) 4-5 months before the exam. I had a friend who sat through it and passed the exam first time through. He told me they will literally tell you everything you need to pass the exam, you just have to put in the time to digest it. He was right, I didn't but I came out of the experience with the realization that I learned more in that review pertaining to my field of choice than I did in 6 years of school (there is a story).

That was probably the moment I realized that college, for a very large portion of students, is much more about the experience & social growth than the education. That's only been reinforced over the next 30 years of work. If my experience is similar to most than paying full bhote for zoom classes negate the benefit of actually going to college. Google's format makes a helluva lot more sense to the common man if we are forced to go online for a elongated period of time. Universities are dinosaurs compared to the online world of Google and all they can bring to bear. See my example above, can't even make a day 1 class that you've known about for months.

:goodposting:

 

I think what google is doing is awesome.  Too many people think you "have to go to college".  People need to be thinking about where the jobs will be in the future and focus on those fields.

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My college experience for classes, in general, was some tenured jackass reading from his own book or a TA reading from the Professor’s notes. Both ended up with me taking halfassed notes and wondering why I bothered to show up to class at all. 
 

I feel like online could be just as good as that without requiring me to walk to campus.

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On 8/19/2020 at 10:17 AM, bostonfred said:

Now read the comments thread underneath. Here's some of the highlights

"If you have a child abusing chat, what are your options? You can try to put them in a breakout room, but the child has to accept. If not, it doesn't work. And if you want to disable chat for the problem student only, you can't. You have to turn it off for everyone.

Not only are teachers having to learn new technology, that technology is ####### garbage and not suited to classroom use at all.

Edit: it seems auto breakout rooms exist. Thank you to those who suggested it."

"You can mute kids so they can't comment. Go to delete the comment and then click mute student."

"There we go, a solution to the problem. Teachers need a forum with resources to get this info out there"

"I've been IT for schools... The vast majority of educators refuse to learn how to use the tools they are given. They will blame the IT staff and pass their frustration off onto the students.

I've sat through the classes that are supposed to teach them the tools... They ignore them and just chat away with their friends. I have long since lost count of the tickets I fielded that were answered in the seminars introducing the teachers to the tools."

"there is tech that is helpful and actually can improve instruction but that has nothing to do with our IT staff. They are responsible for the network and the hardware. They have nothing to do with software based Ed tech that could be helpful and aren't asked to be. We have other teachers who take care of that because how are IT folks, who have never been in a classroom, be well versed in educational software? And when teaching computer science I found out they don't know anything about what is needed to get kids programing on our restrictive school network. I spent an entire year trying to get what I needed and ended up having to use all web based crap because they didn't do a thing.

So yeah, some teachers refuse to try tech but let's not assume we know why or even if that's a bad thing. Now that we are teaching remotely, there's a lot to learn and it's not just technology. Teaching remotely is a totally different ballgame."

 

Granted, this is about grade school, not university level, but it's the same kind of problems that educators are facing everywhere.  The learning curve last spring helped, but this fall is still going to be a huge challenge. Teachers have tools, they don't fully know how to use them, or how to use them to handle real life issues, they aren't always well supported, the kids learn how to use those tools faster than they do...

It's a huge undertaking to implement something like this on a small scale with proper investment and time to plan. They are being asked to implement it on the fly because the pandemic and school year are dictating the timeline and the investment is still in the very early stages.

From my experiences all of that is true.

1. There are a lot of teachers who like to do things how they do them and aren't jumping at the chance for change. Many are resentful of someone with little or no teaching experience coming in to tell them how to do their job better. 

2. The IT people in schools usually have no education background. They are just there to maintain the networks, fix a computer if it breaks, help someone figure out why they can't connect to the network printer, update virus software, etc. 

3. Even when teachers are taught how to use new technology, its usually a one time 3 hour session with no follow up so it's easy for it to get lost. The days are extremely busy with little downtime so once the ball gets rolling, most people fall back on what they know. 

4. There is a difference in being taught how to use a tool and being taught when, how and why to use a tool. A carpenter could probably train someone who isn't very handy how to use a miter saw in a short period of time. However, there is a difference between knowing how to operate a miter saw and actually being able to identify a project and say, "this will require a miter saw and this is how I will use the miter saw to complete this project and it will turn out nice." I've seen teachers earnestly try some new things and it wasn't the right lesson for that tech so it didn't work that well or something went wrong in the middle and it was beyond their capacity to fix on the fly. There is no tech expert providing them feedback, it's usually just "show and go". To really learn and grow, people need practice with feedback. 

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On 8/19/2020 at 12:54 PM, Don't Toews Me said:

 

It might be wiser for schools to say, "In-person is greatly valued. We need to be in-person. Online can be a short term fix given the circumstances of the pandemic, but it isn't a long term solution. Therefore, tuition will be reduced if online." Perhaps some schools can't afford to take a hit tuition wise. I have a hard time believing it, but I also haven't deeply researched the budgets of many schools.

 

This older NYT article indicates that colleges have taken on massive amounts of debt building extravagant buildings and resources to attract students. Repayment of that debt is being put mostly on students. Room and board costs are sky high, a lot of which is to pay for all of those on campus extravagances. None of that debt repayment goes away just because students aren’t on campus, so all of those resources still need to be paid for even if they’re not being utilized.

And let’s face it, there are very very few institutions that set aside money as a contingency just in case something happened; either because they simply were scrapping to get by or because they believed that there was essentially a zero percent chance of on campus attendance ever cratering. 

I think it’s a very real possibility that many smaller colleges could be forced under financially if their income drops by the amount it would drop with no room and board and reduced tuition. Rather than admit that and charging students tuition saying they need it to keep afloat, they’ll either insist it’s safe to come back on campus and then just lock everyone down in their dorms when the virus spreads and charge full tuition plus room and board for students to learn online from their tiny dorm rooms, or they’ll go virtual and still charge full tuition saying that the education is still worth it.

There will be exceptions, but those offering discounts will almost certainly be the incredibly wealthy schools who have massive endowments.

The entire model needs to be changed in a massive way. Universities clearly have little incentive to reduce spending and reel in tuition/room/board costs. At the risk of straying into the political, the idea of government paid college seems insane to me without massive changes to the system to reduce expenses.

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