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  1. #1
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    ALISON Review: Diploma in Health Studies

    I was excited about starting this course- so much so that I took valuable time away from finishing my lesson assignments with LSU. Unfortunately, it did not at all live up to my expectations, which were not very high to begin with.

    The course is broken down into several modules, each with one-page subtopics to read. The bulk of the course is text, but there are some pictures, some short video clips and some interactive (flash?) embedded media.

    The rigor of this course is simply not there. Most of the information is so basic and superficial that at times it is even comical. Example: one question asked was "How does someone get AIDS? 1) It just happens on its own. 2) It is caused by the HIV virus." Even if you have never, ever, ever heard of AIDS or HIV the answer to the question is so obvious that it makes one wonder why they would even bother asking it. Second example: "Which three of these are recommended for healthy living: 1) Something. 2) Something. 3) Not exercising 4) Something." Hmmm. Ummm. Errrr. Other little gems of information include: that lack of money makes it difficult for people to buy food, that the infant mortality rate is higher in Africa than North America and that eating too many carbohydrates and saturated fat makes you gain weight.

    The only portion of this course that holds any value would be the brief descriptions of the different nutrients and minerals. By brief, I mean they are only one page each with just a couple of paragraphs of basic information. Strangely, these pages are written as if the intended audience already knows what terms like polysaccarides and monounsaturated fats are. The course goes on to explain what happens when you consume too much or too little of the essential nutrients, but the information overall is meager. It does not help you to understand how they interact with your body nor exactly what part of what processes they used in.

    Lastly, the formatting for the course is abominable. Some subtopics are only one sentence long. In fact, there were two modules that each only took me a minute to complete since every single topic in them consisted of nothing more than one or two sentences. Sentences that did not contain any information less common sense than "when the sun goes down, it becomes dark outside." Each page takes a long time to load due to the advertisement that appears for several seconds before the content loads. This makes it frustrating when there happens to be no content. A hot tip that anyone using ALISON should remember is that to save time, you should open all pages from a module into different tabs before you read them. That way, by the time you get to each page, the advertisement will have already closed and your lesson content will be loaded.

    The last module on this course is unbelievable. I can only suggest that you try it just to make fun of it. This is the one where the previous question on AIDS came from. This module shows you several videos, from 5-10 seconds each, giving you extremely basic information on AIDS (mind you, without ever telling you what AIDS even is). Then, you are immediately asked questions which mirror word-for-word the 5-10 second video you just watched. Not only that, but several of the videos are redundant. It would be as if I did this to you:

    Lesson 1: My cat is a cat. My cat is black with white spots. The color of my cat is black and its spots are white. It is a cat.

    Question 1: What color are the spots on Maniac Craniac's cat?

    Question 2: What pet of Maniac Craniac's is black with white spots?

    Question 3: Does Maniac Craniac have a cat?

    Just to throw this out there as well, here is a copy of the sample Diploma that they display on their site. Not bad, but it will cost you a big chunk of change to get one of your own:



    Conclusion: This course wasn't what I thought it would be. It was superficial, awkwardly arranged and at times even comical with how poorly it was developed. I expected a lot more from reading the course description beforehand and from the fact that it is a "diploma" program rather than one of their shorter "certificate" programs. It really was a waste of time and not something I would proudly boast to to others nor dare to flaunt on a resume. However, this is just one course , which does not directly reflect on ALISON's other programs. ALISON gets its course material from several different providers and I would suppose- since I have yet to experience them- that each course provider offers differing levels of rigor and continuity. Notwithstanding, in my opinion, it does reflect poorly on ALISON that they would allow such a sub-par course to be a part of their offerings. Even if their IT or business certificate programs are excellent, in my mind there is a bit of a gloom over them given their lack of standardization of quality.

    That said, I haven't given up on them entirely and would like to try out a few of their other programs (Diploma in Legal Studies , among others).
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College -------- AA, Liberal Arts ---- Excelsior College

    I say do what makes you happy -- if you can afford it. - CalDog

  2. #2
    bazonkers is offline Registered User
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    Why is this in off-topic?
    MA History, AMU, 99%, 2012
    BS Business, Excelsior College, 2003
    AA Letters, Arts and Sciences, Penn State, 2009

  3. #3
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    My disabled friend went completely through the IT diploma and said it was pretty easy. Took him about 10 hours. It appears to be a pretty fluffy way to earn a certificate, probably not one you would be proud of. Good for him though.
    Last edited by SurfDoctor; 11-25-2011 at 08:05 PM.
    Be satisfied with what you have, but never be satisfied with what you are.

  4. #4
    BrandeX is offline Registered User
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    I got the same impression when sampling a couple of the cert courses.

  5. #5
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    MC, you have me concerned now. I was sort of using the IT portion of Alison to see if my disabled friend could handle doing the A+ certification. Now I'm not sure sure that it is a good test. I'm going to pay for the A+ classes and, if he bombs out and quits, I will have wasted my money.
    Be satisfied with what you have, but never be satisfied with what you are.

  6. #6
    BrandeX is offline Registered User
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    There isn't an IT diploma course, and there are a few "Basic IT" cert courses, so I am not sure which one you are referring to exactly. I sampled: Introduction to Information Technology and it didn't cover anytihng that is needed to pass A+ (maybe there is a different cert more directed towards pc repair and maintenance). A better resource can be found here: Professor Messer's Free 220-70x CompTIA A+ Training Course | Professor Messer - CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Certification Training which is free. Along with a basic "PC repair"-type book or two from the library should be all most people need to sit the A+ exams. I wouldn't recommend anyone pays money beyond the exam fee to get an A+ (or Sec+ or Net+for that matter, all have free resources on the net and at libraries)

  7. #7
    friendorfoe is offline Registered User
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    I too strongly recommend Professor Messer's video collection. The best part is they are free...but I'd recommend buying the suggested text on there (still way cheaper than a college course).

    As an aside, I am currently watching the Professor Messer Security+ videos...they are short, to the point and contain no fluff...I'm a big fan.
    This space for rent.

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  9. #8
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrandeX View Post
    There isn't an IT diploma course, and there are a few "Basic IT" cert courses, so I am not sure which one you are referring to exactly.
    Yes, you are right. Even my disabled friend corrected me on that one; I never really looked at it very carefully. He did the basic IT cert, which was really elementary. Thanks for the Professor Messer link. My friend has a little bit of concentration and motivation issues, so that would not work for him, but I'm thinking about personally doing that program you pointed out just for my own edification.

    To put him through the program at OCC will only cost me $330 all inclusive. If he flakes out on the first class, a distinct possibility, I will only be out $110.
    Last edited by SurfDoctor; 11-28-2011 at 03:01 PM.
    Be satisfied with what you have, but never be satisfied with what you are.

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