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A new record for one of my online college classes...

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I'm an online community college professor. Typically my students are working full-time and/or have a lot of responsibilities, but not always. The college actually has milestones they must meet in order to not be dropped from the class. Typically anywhere from 25-50% drop or fail.

 

This is finals week, and I'm still grading projects, so the count isn't final. Some already took the final.

 

Starting class size: 35

 

Dropped: 20 (some dropped themselves, most were institution drops)

 

Failed: 2 (to date)

 

TBD: 13

 

Just to show that online education isn't the answer for some students. However, my youngest is taking all online this semester because of medical problems, and she's got A's in everything going into finals. It can be done.

 

 

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I also teach one of my sections partly online (online lectures with in seat recitations), and notice two major problems with online education:

 

1. self selection. The less motivated students are more likely to sign up for the (asynchronous) online class, because not having to have your butt in seat at a given time sounds appealing to them. Needless to say that backfires.

2. online requires much more self discipline. I have recently taken an online class myself. It is very difficult to stay focused on the computer when there are so many distractions. In an in seat class, students are captive audience, and find it much easier to pay attention.

 

Some students do great with online. It allows flexibility with scheduling, and students who have learning difficulties and rewind, rewatch lectures, go as slow as they want. But it requires a lot of motivation and drive.

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1. self selection. The less motivated students are more likely to sign up for the (asynchronous) online class, because not having to have your butt in seat at a given time sounds appealing to them. Needless to say that backfires.

2. online requires much more self discipline. I have recently taken an online class myself. It is very difficult to stay focused on the computer when there are so many distractions. In an in seat class, students are captive audience, and find it much easier to pay attention.

 

Some students do great with online. It allows flexibility with scheduling, and students who have learning difficulties and rewind, rewatch lectures, go as slow as they want. But it requires a lot of motivation and drive.

 

I agree. This class is actually taught face-to-face at most campuses, but I get a bunch who say in their introductions that they chose it so they wouldn't have to drive to campus. It's a very technical class in the web design track. If you're not good at troubleshooting and/or can't invest the time, it's a problem. I've never taught it other than online, but I can imagine how much better it would go with in-class exercises and the ability to help them immediately.

 

The self-discipline is tough. Sitting down to work through difficult technical material compounds it because students get discouraged and give up. They'll email me after working for only 3-4 hours right before a due date, wanting it to be easy, but it's not. Most of my successful students spend at least 6-8 hours a week or more on projects covering multiple weeks.

 

I'm paid on the basis of first-day enrollment, and this class is always full. Sad though.

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My son is taking his dual enrollment classes online through a Univ of TX campus because we live so remotely and have no option for live classes. He had to do a group paper in his English class, and he's had one heck of a time getting his groupmates to actually, y'know, contribute. It has been an extremely frustrating process. He's going into finals with an A in each class though.

Edited by Kinsa
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My son is taking his dual enrollment classes online through a Univ of TX campus because we live so remotely and have no option for live classes. He had to do a group paper in his English class, and he's had one heck of a time getting his groupmates to actually, y'know, contribute. It has been an extremely frustrating process. He's going into finals with an A in each class though.

 

Oh, group projects in online are so stupid!

DS is taking an online class that had a group project as the final. He had his contribution done and was all but ready to write the entire thing because the other contributions were not forthcoming. The person in charge of the conclusion was still editing fifteen minutes before submission deadline. Yikes.

 

I think professors who assign group essays in online classes just don't want to read that many essays and make it easier on themselves.

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Oh, group projects in online are so stupid!

DS is taking an online class that had a group project as the final. He had his contribution done and was all but ready to write the entire thing because the other contributions were not forthcoming. The person in charge of the conclusion was still editing fifteen minutes before submission deadline. Yikes.

 

I think professors who assign group essays in online classes just don't want to read that many essays and make it easier on themselves.

I have nothing else to say, other than, "I agree!"

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2. online requires much more self discipline. I have recently taken an online class myself. It is very difficult to stay focused on the computer when there are so many distractions. In an in seat class, students are captive audience, and find it much easier to pay attention.

 

Some students do great with online. It allows flexibility with scheduling, and students who have learning difficulties and rewind, rewatch lectures, go as slow as they want. But it requires a lot of motivation and drive.

 

 

 

I agree! My ds has had to take all his AP courses online. It is not the ideal learning platform for him. The courses are not lecture-based, but he's that kid who really needs face-to-face interaction with an instructor. We've had to compensate by hiring tutors. I do like that his courses are assignment driven. Feedback has always been prompt, thorough, and insightful.

 

I recently took a primarily online certificate course through UT's vet school and found myself completely zoning out during the lectures. The post-lecture quizzes were helpful, but I feel that assignments/projects would have interfaced better with my learning style! We did have case studies, internships, and onsite labs, but I would have liked to have seen them do something more interactive with the online instruction. 

 

 

 
Edited by amathis229
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Ouch!  At least you won't have as many projects to grade!

 

Yes, thankfully. Grading website takes a while because there's so many aspects to look for and check, but it's doable. I did grade a project this morning that got 100%. Hooray!

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My mom is a librarian at a community college; she says she gets students every semester who come in at 4:45 pm and say, Mrs. Librarian, I have a paper due by 6pm tonight and it's about communist Russia and can you tell me what book to check out?  Or, I have a paper due in 10 minutes but the submission page isn't working and I've emailed my professor 15 times in the last half an hour but she isn't responding!

 

She says that when she suggests they might need more time or to submit the paper late, and maybe next time to try writing or submitting it a bit earlier, they give her a dumbfounded look.

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Oh, group projects in online are so stupid!

DS is taking an online class that had a group project as the final. He had his contribution done and was all but ready to write the entire thing because the other contributions were not forthcoming. The person in charge of the conclusion was still editing fifteen minutes before submission deadline. Yikes.

 

I think professors who assign group essays in online classes just don't want to read that many essays and make it easier on themselves.

 

Storytime. They were presenting projects in one of my son's classes last week. Thankfully his group came through. The professor was super edgy with the students at times, and it was indeed a tough section. My son thinks that a good number are going to fail for not completing assignments. One of the presenting groups had a member who didn't show up. No texts, nothing. So they scrambled and covered his part. After the presentation and the professor's comments, she went to the board and wrote the student's name and cell phone on the board with this message: "Sorry you missed class, we had puppies and snacks." Then she told the class that they were welcome to do what they wanted with that information. Apparently most of the class texted him the message.

 

I cannot IMAGE doing something like that, although I've certainly been frustrated with certain sections.

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Storytime. They were presenting projects in one of my son's classes last week. Thankfully his group came through. The professor was super edgy with the students at times, and it was indeed a tough section. My son thinks that a good number are going to fail for not completing assignments. One of the presenting groups had a member who didn't show up. No texts, nothing. So they scrambled and covered his part. After the presentation and the professor's comments, she went to the board and wrote the student's name and cell phone on the board with this message: "Sorry you missed class, we had puppies and snacks." Then she told the class that they were welcome to do what they wanted with that information. Apparently most of the class texted him the message.

 

I cannot IMAGE doing something like that, although I've certainly been frustrated with certain sections.

I wish I had the moxy to do something like that. 

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Oh, group projects in online are so stupid!

 

 

I've actually seen it work out well at least once. BUT, most of the people in the class were grad students (it was Statistical Methods in Library Science or something along those lines, a 4xxx/5xxx level course), and I think I may have been the only person in my particular group who was undergrad. But, we managed to agree on what to do, took turns going to the public library to count the number of patrons in a certain area at randomly selected times, and we got the results processed - everybody was involved, not to the level of perfection, but it was probably the best functioning group project I've been in. I think most of the other groups in that class did okay too... but, I do get that a class where the vast majority are grad students is not comparable to a CC class. 

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My kid just got a final grade of A in his first fully online CC class and is finishing up the 2nd one (which is actually hybrid, but it ended up being mostly online).  He has an A going into the final of that too.  You need to be good with time management and self motivation.  But I think the online option can be fabulous for those who need a more flexible schedule. 

 

ETA - a group paper for an English class, and especially an online English class is just stupidity.  The most "group" stuff my kid had to do is they were required to give feedback or thoughts on others online comments. No one was dependent on anyone else. 

Edited by WoolySocks
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I also teach one of my sections partly online (online lectures with in seat recitations), and notice two major problems with online education:

 

1. self selection. The less motivated students are more likely to sign up for the (asynchronous) online class, because not having to have your butt in seat at a given time sounds appealing to them. Needless to say that backfires.

2. online requires much more self discipline. I have recently taken an online class myself. It is very difficult to stay focused on the computer when there are so many distractions. In an in seat class, students are captive audience, and find it much easier to pay attention.

 

Some students do great with online. It allows flexibility with scheduling, and students who have learning difficulties and rewind, rewatch lectures, go as slow as they want. But it requires a lot of motivation and drive.

I have found this--the students who are LEAST likely to be the ones who can succeed in an online class are the one who are MOST likely to enroll in it.  

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Oh, group projects in online are so stupid!

DS is taking an online class that had a group project as the final. He had his contribution done and was all but ready to write the entire thing because the other contributions were not forthcoming. The person in charge of the conclusion was still editing fifteen minutes before submission deadline. Yikes.

 

I think professors who assign group essays in online classes just don't want to read that many essays and make it easier on themselves.

Or, the professor must check a box for accreditation reports showing that "teamwork" is a component of the course.

 

Or, the professor gets credit in an annual evaluation for "innovative" teaching practices by using group projects.

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Yes, group work can be silly. I have seen an online English teacher let students grade each others work according to a rubric she set. The topic for the paper was to address a cultural criticism. In my opinion, that is a terrible topic to let other students grade because some of the students graded with a clear personal bias that focused on the message not on the quality of delivery. It is lazy teaching at best. 

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DD had a “Hybrid†class this semester that was essentially an online class, but with a reserved computer lab for 3 hours a week and an instructor to proctor. No traditional/lecture section available. In many respects, it was a “worst of both worldsâ€, except she was already on campus for another class anyway. According to her, the instructor would answer questions if asked, but seemed to discourage asking (as in, spent most of the time sitting in the corner reading his newspaper, not circulating). Mostly, his job seemed to be to unlock the quizzes and tests so students could take them when ready.

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I'm an online community college professor. Typically my students are working full-time and/or have a lot of responsibilities, but not always. The college actually has milestones they must meet in order to not be dropped from the class. Typically anywhere from 25-50% drop or fail.

 

This is finals week, and I'm still grading projects, so the count isn't final. Some already took the final.

 

Starting class size: 35

 

Dropped: 20 (some dropped themselves, most were institution drops)

 

Failed: 2 (to date)

 

TBD: 13

 

Just to show that online education isn't the answer for some students. However, my youngest is taking all online this semester because of medical problems, and she's got A's in everything going into finals. It can be done.

 

I hear you.  I teach in a hybrid-type model at our local community college - both chemistry and a few psychology courses.  In our model, I have a few students in front of me but I'm teaching live through Saba/Centra meeting software to a much larger number of students across Ontario.  Students struggle.  I have no way of knowing whether the distance students are listening to me or not as I teach.  While there is a text chat feature in the meeting software, many of the students don't like using it and I've found that, in many cases, not asking questions and/or responding to my questions doesn't necessarily mean they aren't paying attention.

 

We also just went through a 5 week faculty strike here in the Ontario college system (which affected my classes even though I'm not unionized faculty) so students are really struggling this semester.  If they aren't self-motivated to at least some degree, it's not going to bode well for them.

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I have found this--the students who are LEAST likely to be the ones who can succeed in an online class are the one who are MOST likely to enroll in it.  

 

 

Which might be another reason why the group project I mentioned in a PP worked - iirc it was a required class, and there was no in-person option, so there was no self-selection bias (other than that it only had people going for their MLS or a bachelor's degree in information science (which is NOT a popular major)).

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My son has done well in hybrid courses but ended up dropping his one "all online" course last year. However, he felt he learned more about organization/time management and self discipline through the process (what not to do), and is going to try again--this time with a different course and with a more realistic view of what he'll need to do to be successful. He readily admits that doing a degree online would not be a good match for him (or at least not right now!) Hopefully his second try at an online class will go better. 

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Or, the professor must check a box for accreditation reports showing that "teamwork" is a component of the course.

 

Or, the professor gets credit in an annual evaluation for "innovative" teaching practices by using group projects.

 

Yes, been there. I had a dean who always graded me low for not having group projects in my basic computer literacy classes. IMHO the majority of students there just wanted to get done with it, and most were actually pretty far along in some areas and just needed polishing and filling in the gaps. One of the other professors teaching that won all kinds of awards for doing a semester-long group project, but I always had 2-3 students who dropped his class and came to mine because of the group project. Personally, I didn't see anything educationally to gain in a class like that focused on a wide range of topics and skills where nearly all of them aren't going to take another class in that department.

 

My oldest is in business school where they do group projects involving business plans, case studies, etc. and each student is assigned a business area to research and write up, and then the group edits and presents. That I can see because they're junior-level students who are applying previous classes in a vocationally-related way. One of the projects he did this semester involved planning and researching for a security system and security infrastructure for a corporate headquarters building. They had to do everything from budget to what kind of people to hire. A very effective assignment IMHO, and thankfully he had a really focused group.

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Oh, group projects in online are so stupid!

DS is taking an online class that had a group project as the final. He had his contribution done and was all but ready to write the entire thing because the other contributions were not forthcoming. The person in charge of the conclusion was still editing fifteen minutes before submission deadline. Yikes.

 

I think professors who assign group essays in online classes just don't want to read that many essays and make it easier on themselves.

 

Oh, geez.  Online projects are the worst idea ever.  I just finished my AA through 3 semesters of online classes and I'm in my second semester at the U.  I have not yet had one project assigned as a group in any of my online classes.  However, DH took a class in a Masters program online  and had a group project.  It was a fiasco - added to the fact that these are adults, working in their chosen fields already, and coordinating it was not good.  

 

It does require more accountability and organization.  I'd far rather trek to class, truth be told.  You carve out the time to read the material and watch the lectures and do the work rather than being able to be face-to-face accountable by going to class.  I think older students have a distinct advantage in this area because of executive functioning skills.  I've read a student is far more likely to fail an online class than one in real life.  :(  

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Yes, been there. I had a dean who always graded me low for not having group projects in my basic computer literacy classes. IMHO the majority of students there just wanted to get done with it, and most were actually pretty far along in some areas and just needed polishing and filling in the gaps. One of the other professors teaching that won all kinds of awards for doing a semester-long group project, but I always had 2-3 students who dropped his class and came to mine because of the group project. Personally, I didn't see anything educationally to gain in a class like that focused on a wide range of topics and skills where nearly all of them aren't going to take another class in that department.

I once had a dean who wanted me to incorporate an oral speaking grade component in my introductory finance class with 300 students.  I set down and explained that 300 students X 1 minute speaking was 5 hours--or 2 weeks--or 1/8 of the entire semester that was supposed to be about finance.  His solution was to do a group project--well that would have been 50 groups of 6 students....

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Whether you thrive or sink in online classes is at least somewhat personality (rather than intelligence) driven.

 

I had two kids who thrived with online AP classes in high school, and one who thought online classes were a torture device designed to frustrate isolated students. He QUICKLY moved on to brick and mortar community college classes!

 

 

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Funny story about students who come for help sessions --

 

I have a friend who taught organic chemistry at an elite LAC with lots of pre-meds. One time she looked around in frustration at the students who were at the help session -- they were both A students, and there were plenty of students in the class who were NOT A students. She actually told the two students who came to the help session -- "Why are YOU here? And why aren't all of the other students here?"

 

The two students who were at the help session ended up at 1) Harvard Medical School, and 2) the #2 engineering program in her field in the country. Apparently those two didn't "really" need the help, but they were the only ones there.

 

(And maybe the reason they succeeded so well was because they were the type of student who came for extra help when the material wasn't 100% clear!)

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I'm an online community college professor. Typically my students are working full-time and/or have a lot of responsibilities, but not always. The college actually has milestones they must meet in order to not be dropped from the class. Typically anywhere from 25-50% drop or fail.

 

This is finals week, and I'm still grading projects, so the count isn't final. Some already took the final.

 

Starting class size: 35

 

Dropped: 20 (some dropped themselves, most were institution drops)

 

Failed: 2 (to date)

 

TBD: 13

 

Just to show that online education isn't the answer for some students. However, my youngest is taking all online this semester because of medical problems, and she's got A's in everything going into finals. It can be done.

Out of curiosity, why does the institution drop the students rather than just having the students fail the class if they don't meet the requirements?

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Out of curiosity, why does the institution drop the students rather than just having the students fail the class if they don't meet the requirements?

 

We are required to verify that students attend, because federal aid requires full time student status. A student who is merely enrolled but not actually attending is not really a full time student and is receiving aid fraudulently; such students should be dropped so their status is not misrepresented.

And then there is of course statistics. Percentage of failing grades is a marker for the class/prof/institution. Withdrawn students fall out of the statistics.

I am of two minds; in one respect I would like them to get the failing grade they deserve, but OTOH I don't want to be penalized for having too high a percentage of Ds and Fs. Under a former chancellor, this got you blacklisted.

Edited by regentrude
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We are required to verify that students attend, because federal aid requires full time student status. A student who is merely enrolled but not actually attending is not really a full time student and is receiving aid fraudulently; such students should be dropped so their status is not misrepresented.

And then there is of course statistics. Percentage of failing grades is a marker for the class/prof/institution. Withdrawn students fall out of the statistics.

I am of two minds; in one respect I would like them to get the failing grade they deserve, but OTOH I don't want to be penalized for having too high a percentage of Ds and Fs. Under a former chancellor, this got you blacklisted.

The state institution where I taught F, D, and withdrawals were all lumped into the same category.  

 

If you had more than 20% of your students falling into any of these three categories you were penalized as a professor.  If 20% of the class withdrew it was seen as the professor's responsibility for not motivating the student--that even applied to those who were on the roster, never showed up to a class, never ever entered in the online portal, and then dropped anytime after the first two weeks of the semester.  I never figured out how I was supposed to motivate a student I never had any contact with.

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The state institution where I taught F, D, and withdrawals were all lumped into the same category.  

 

If you had more than 20% of your students falling into any of these three categories you were penalized as a professor.  If 20% of the class withdrew it was seen as the professor's responsibility for not motivating the student--that even applied to those who were on the roster, never showed up to a class, never ever entered in the online portal, and then dropped anytime after the first two weeks of the semester.  I never figured out how I was supposed to motivate a student I never had any contact with.

 

At my institution, withdrawals during the initial weeks of the semester until a deadline in week 6 do not appear on the transcript and vanish from the statistics.

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Penalizing professors for early withdrawals seems silly; I withdrew from a few courses after the first week because I'd misjudged the nature of the course or realized the time was really unsuitable or something - never anything to do with the professor, that early.

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Penalizing professors for early withdrawals seems silly; I withdrew from a few courses after the first week because I'd misjudged the nature of the course or realized the time was really unsuitable or something - never anything to do with the professor, that early.

There are also a number of other reasons a student might withdraw that have nothing to do with the professor.  Professors teaching introductory classes, in which many students are testing the waters of college life and for which students may enter unprepared (all beyond the control of the professor), will have higher withdrawal rates.  When administrators and state politicians try to set blanket policies that apply to a freshman math class equally to a senior level major class, you really get a mess.

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Yes, there was one I definitely should have withdrawn from but stuck out - it was called History of the Book, a 500 level history class, and I signed up because it was at the right time (5pm or something, when I had childcare arranged for DD12, who was then DDnotquite1).  I figured I could handle just about any history class and I was trying to fill hours for graduation; I had the requirements already.

 

So anyway, it turned out to be a seminar-type class with 5 or 6 other students, all quite serious grad students, who knew the professor (it seemed) personally; he was at least an hour late to every class and kept the class for an extra hour, so it was never over at any reasonable time, ever; most importantly, it was completely and totally above my head. Like, waaaaaay above my head.  I just showed up and looked stupid for a few weeks, then stopped going but hoped I could eke out the papers, then gave up entirely.  He gave me an incomplete, which was pretty nice on the whole.

 

But anyway, that was a situation where I should have withdrawn and it was because of the professor - but it wasn't his fault, really.  Just a bad match; that happens.

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We've noticed the same thing happening -- especially with math. The people who have a C in the prerequisite and "hate math" are the most likely to sign up for online math class. Our failure rates there are absolutely horrendous -- and they get lumped in with all the other sections. So we're currently getting flak from admin because of the massive failure rates in x math class, which are tremendously influenced by the massive failure rates of the online sections -- and yet we can't just not offer it online, because admin is very proud of their "complete a degree with distance learning". 

 

(although we are looking at only offering it in summer so that at least people can't try to do it when they have a full load of other classes). 

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<snip> and yet we can't just not offer it online, because admin is very proud of their "complete a degree with distance learning". 

 

<snip>

Our local CC is doing this.They are advertising it as 100% online from registration to graduation, you'll never have to  come to campus.

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The state institution where I taught F, D, and withdrawals were all lumped into the same category.  

 

If you had more than 20% of your students falling into any of these three categories you were penalized as a professor.  If 20% of the class withdrew it was seen as the professor's responsibility for not motivating the student--that even applied to those who were on the roster, never showed up to a class, never ever entered in the online portal, and then dropped anytime after the first two weeks of the semester.  I never figured out how I was supposed to motivate a student I never had any contact with.

 

Even when I was teaching face-to-face, I would have been in trouble with this. The hard reality at community colleges is that a lot of students shouldn't be there. I learned to not take that personally. It's just the nature of things. When you admit nearly everyone to give them a chance, a lot of them are going to not make it.

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There are also a number of other reasons a student might withdraw that have nothing to do with the professor.  Professors teaching introductory classes, in which many students are testing the waters of college life and for which students may enter unprepared (all beyond the control of the professor), will have higher withdrawal rates.  When administrators and state politicians try to set blanket policies that apply to a freshman math class equally to a senior level major class, you really get a mess.

 

 

It's also less fair for small classes - if 3 out of 14 students W/F/D, that could be much more random out of the professor's control than if 61 out of 300 do (DW once got fired because she needed to maintain a 90% customer satisfaction rating, but they called only 3 people and one either wasn't happy or didn't understand whether a 1 or a 10 was better or who knows - if they'd called 8 more people she might very well have had >90% (as she had other months), and her boss was quite pissed at corporate because he didn't want her to leave). 

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(although we are looking at only offering it in summer so that at least people can't try to do it when they have a full load of other classes). 

 

 

The CCs I've been to allow people to take a full load in summer. I've taken 16 hours in summer before. The only thing was that they don't put you on the Dean's list for getting straight As in 16 hours in summer*, because it's summer so not a 'full load'. I've also once tried to do Diff Eq and Physics 1 in Summer 1, but I got sick the first week of class (4 week session), so I only passed Physics 1 (not sure what I did with Diff Eq - I either dropped it or got an F). Both Diff Eq and Physics were in person though, which wasn't helpful because it required showing up each morning and then again each evening - when I did the 16 hours in summer only the accounting classes were in person, the other two were online (that said, I wouldn't have wanted Diff Eq to be online - Physics however would've been nice, since I basically ended up passing it from high school memory anyway). 

 

*The only time I would've made the Dean's list, ever - I've had a few other semesters with straight As, but with too few hours to qualify for Dean's list. Yes, I'm obviously annoyed, because I don't get the silliness - if I'd had 16 hours of straight As in Fall or Spring it would've made the Dean's list, so it doesn't make sense to me. 

 

ETA: it obviously wasn't the Diff Eq teacher's fault that I failed/dropped it. From the few classes I went to, she seemed like a good teacher. There's basically nothing she could've done to prevent me from failing/dropping it.

Edited by luuknam

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Even when I was teaching face-to-face, I would have been in trouble with this. The hard reality at community colleges is that a lot of students shouldn't be there. I learned to not take that personally. It's just the nature of things. When you admit nearly everyone to give them a chance, a lot of them are going to not make it.

I had a colleague who had a large group of students who were involved in a cheating ring she caught.  Previous professors teaching the same group had been suspicious, but had not taken the time or trouble to investigate the cheating.  My colleague did and her "reward" for maintaining academic integrity was to be in trouble for having too many F's, D's, and W's that semester.  

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I had a colleague who had a large group of students who were involved in a cheating ring she caught.  Previous professors teaching the same group had been suspicious, but had not taken the time or trouble to investigate the cheating.  My colleague did and her "reward" for maintaining academic integrity was to be in trouble for having too many F's, D's, and W's that semester.  

 

 

Oh my. The system is so rotten.

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I had a colleague who had a large group of students who were involved in a cheating ring she caught.  Previous professors teaching the same group had been suspicious, but had not taken the time or trouble to investigate the cheating.  My colleague did and her "reward" for maintaining academic integrity was to be in trouble for having too many F's, D's, and W's that semester.  

 

DIS-like! That's awful. (and ridiculous!)

Edited by MerryAtHope
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I had a colleague who had a large group of students who were involved in a cheating ring she caught.  Previous professors teaching the same group had been suspicious, but had not taken the time or trouble to investigate the cheating.  My colleague did and her "reward" for maintaining academic integrity was to be in trouble for having too many F's, D's, and W's that semester.  

 

I had a dean that did that to a colleague. Somehow it got twisted that the professor was also responsible for the cheating. That dean really had it in for the adjuncts though. Large numbers of us left because she sided with the students far more than she sided with the professors. I dreaded every time that I had to interact with her.

 

The semester after I left, she was asked to resign or be fired. The adjunct issue was just one of many that she was grossly mismanaging.

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I had a dean that did that to a colleague. Somehow it got twisted that the professor was also responsible for the cheating. That dean really had it in for the adjuncts though. Large numbers of us left because she sided with the students far more than she sided with the professors. I dreaded every time that I had to interact with her.

 

The semester after I left, she was asked to resign or be fired. The adjunct issue was just one of many that she was grossly mismanaging.

My brother used to be an Economics professor - he left academia years ago because of crap like this by the deans at his UT campus.

Good riddance to that dean.

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Yes, discipline is the biggest issue with online classes. Lots of people have a difficult time with self-discipline when they do not have to go in to SEE the professor. However, if you do the work online classes are great. My younger ds (he is now 17) has done several online classes since he was 13 and always received an A. However, he is super disciplined and organized. His brother could never do that and, in fact, says so himself.

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Two left to take the final. Both will get an "A" if they score 60 or better on the final, so I'm assuming that.

 

Started: 35

 

Dropped: 20

 

A: 5

 

B: 4

 

C: 4

 

D: none

 

F: 2

 

I think you can see that this does work for some students, but not for all.  My youngest took all online this semester because of health issues, and it worked out very well for her. It did help that I used to work there and knew some of the professors.

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I did my MBA by distance learning, before courses were online.  I had folders and textbooks, and sent in my assignments by post.  We met each summer for a week for summer school.  It ended up taking me five years while I worked full time and moved between three continents.  It took an incredible amount of discipline and I was lonely and downhearted a lot of the time.

 

http://www.wbs.ac.uk/courses/mba/distance-learning/

Edited by Laura Corin
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I finished up both my undergrad degrees through Thomas Edison, with a mix of online classes and testing.  I always did fine with online, it was a format that worked well while working full time and taking care of a kid.  But, I was in my 30's and highly motivated.  It was 6 credits for Biology and about 24 credits for Marketing so not the majority of either degree.

 

My oldest tried an online class for her foreign language requirement because it was the only time she could do.  She basically bombed out.   She needed more class time and face-to-face to be successful.

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Penalizing professors for early withdrawals seems silly; I withdrew from a few courses after the first week because I'd misjudged the nature of the course or realized the time was really unsuitable or something - never anything to do with the professor, that early.

 

Yes, I've signed up for classes as a backup plan to maintain full-time status, and then withdrawn when I ended up getting into the "full" class I hadn't previously been able to sign up for. I withdrew from a class "Something-or-Other for Busy People" when I discovered that it meant watching multiple 3-hour long videos lectures within a very short timeframe. Classes dropped before the drop date really shouldn't count.

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I was lonely and downhearted a lot of the time.

 

 

 

I do think that's one of the nice things about online classes these days - it's easy for the prof to make students interact some with each other, so you'd have less loneliness. For example, there are some classes where I'm not convinced the prof ever looked at the "write a paragraph in response to each of these journal articles and write comments on at least two of your other group member's responses", but most of us did it anyway (and a fair number wrote some pretty interesting takes on stuff), and in some of them there was some good-natured banter that wasn't part of the requirements as well.

 

Of course, I've also encountered some online classes where you didn't interact with classmates at all, in which case it would be just as lonely (fwiw, that that was only the case for *some* classes at the CC, and not for any of the 4xxx/5xxx classes I've taken, iirc... which is not that odd, since CC adjuncts don't get paid anywhere near enough to deal with zillions of students, and realistically, I bet a lot of us were probably quite happy to just take the quizzes and be done for the required gen ed classes we didn't have an interest in anyway... I didn't really mind, other than that I thought that the standards in some classes were seriously lacking, but hey, for most of them it was just check a box toward getting a piece of paper). To be clear, I've encountered some great CC instructors as well (including adjuncts)... just not online, for the most part. Which could be completely random, of course, since I haven't taken *that* many classes, being just one person. 

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My husband is taking some online classes right now, and it is NOT easy.  Yet ----- casually the attitude a lot of people seem to have is that online college is easy, they will just take your money and give you a passing grade, so that you can go on to the next class, where they will again take your money and give you a passing grade. 

 

So -- needless to say, we also know a lot of people who have signed up for and then ended up failing online classes. 

 

At the most popular online college for his job, they do 8-week classes, and you can only drop by the end of the 1st week.  It is not a lot of time to realize you aren't in a good fit, or don't have time to do the work. 

 

I strongly, strongly encouraged my husband to drop a class in the last enrollment period.  Every student wrote an introduction on the discussion page, and the professor went and wrote comments to people. 

 

My husband's introduction was basically -- he had little to no background, but the woman who helped him find classes to meet graduation requirements said this was a class he could take. 

 

Other people in the class were saying things like -- they had related work experience, the class was in their major, etc. 

 

The professor's response to my husband was very polite but I read it as -- you should drop this class. 

 

My husband thought things like "oh they wouldn't let me enroll in it with no prerequisite if.... the woman who helped me enroll wouldn't have recommended it unless...." 

 

He had mostly taken introductory classes, and this was an upper-level class -- he didn't realize that there would be such a step up in expectations, or that sometimes they don't set specific prerequisites because some people will come in with related experience and be able to go into a class fine, or they will be super-motivated because it's their major.

 

I really, really had to convince him "drop this class, take the hint from the professor." 

 

Then he saw how his other upper-level class was (the one he didn't drop) and now he thinks I was right and he's glad he dropped it. 

 

There are two different women he can talk to at the education center, and definitely he will stick to talking to the other one from now on.  I don't think she would have just gone "sure, this will meet the requirement for you." 

 

He is in a situation where ----- he is in the military, and they have given him a lot of transfer hours for military experience.  But that means he has quickly gotten to where he has to use general requirements to reach his 45 hours of upper-level classes requirement.  And they gave him a computer-generated paper suggesting that he take his computer requirement as a 300-level class, so the woman at the ed center just said "oh you can take this." 

 

But he got an A in his writing class! 

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