4 Week BA - Part 2

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by Lewchuk, Aug 5, 2001.

  1. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    There is an excellent article by a professor of ed tech quoted in JHE. The most interesting points are...

    "As distance education proliferates, students will invent more ways to obtain their degrees in the shortest possible time with the least amounts of effort and work."

    "Educators are concerned with the phenomenon of "grade inflation" -- i.e. when students are assigned grades that are higher than what they earn and deserve. Grade inflation appears to occur at practically all levels of education. It is true that grade inflation is a serious problem. However, I see a far more serious problem beginning to occur in education, one that I call "degree inflation," -- i.e. when degrees are conferred on people who have not learned all they should have learned in order to earn their degrees."

    "Degree inflation will become a widespread phenomenon. Degree inflation will soon grow into the much larger phenomenon of "educational inflation," a situation where even advanced doctoral degrees will not be worth the paper on which they are printed. Society will have to take drastic measures to devalue degrees, much like devaluing monetary units in economies that are plagued by inflation."

    "Society can act now to prevent degree inflation from becoming a reality by insisting on greater accountability for distance learners and distance education programs. The need for convenience on the part of distance learners should be balanced with the need for academic quality, rigor and integrity in distance education programs. By closely monitoring and guiding the growth of distance education programs, society can prevent the phenomenon of degree inflation from plaguing it in the future."
  2. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Diatribe SNIPPED

    Best watch out for copyright infringement, Ken, that cut and paste seemed to exceed "fair use".

    Getting a bit worn out chasing you from one thread to another trying to get an answer.

    Now, can you tell us about your bachelor's degree? What was the major, and which institution conferred it? How long did it take you to graduate?
  3. EsqPhD

    EsqPhD member

    Hey Lewchuck, this is beginning to get ugly. I don't see much benefits in responding however reasonable your response may be. Your philosophy of education for the undergraduate is based on the majority standard--I don't think you need to defend yourself. It's the BA in 4 weeks people that will have to defend their degrees among the establishment.

  4. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    I see, asking you (as I did previously), and Ken to detail your credentials is getting ugly?

    Ken has stated that :

  5. EsqPhD

    EsqPhD member

    If you trust an administrator on this forum, I will gladly give all of my educational background to him--including Bar license, work phone, home phone, etc. for him to confirm and just tell you that I'm valid--however, you are NOT worth me giving these information to--bottom line.

  6. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    A rather inarticulate and uncontrolled outburst for one so well educated, don't you think? I must say, here, as elsewhere, I see no signs of your self proclaimed superiority. When will this remarkable acumen finally show itself?

    And you have failed to provide evidence of the inherent inferiority of a BA earned via examination.

    When will you do that?
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Being an Administrator, I hereby volunteer to serve as an intermediary. I'll confirm all information given to me (education, bar certification, etc.), but I won't in turn reveal that information to the general board, but just report my findings. Deal?

  8. Buckwheat

    Buckwheat New Member

    I guess the 4wk. degree has wormed it's way into all parts of our society, perhaps even
    NASA suffers from it. Afterall, didnt a Mars lander ricochet off the planet because of a simple inch/metric conversion? Let us all heed Chicken Little's warning: "The sky is falling!" Maybe( for personal saftey) tall buildings,bridges etc.are worth our second glance.
  9. EsqPhD

    EsqPhD member

    Thanks for your offer Bruce. I really don't want to make this a big issue. Please send me your contact info next time you respond or e-mail me at my registered e-mail address for degreeinfo.

    I'll contact you this afternoon when I come back from my *work*.

  10. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Hi, Bruce. While you are doing that, would you please post an explanation of why any of the rest of us should be interested in the results of this little exercise?

    Will it make this dance of elephantine egos proceed any faster?

    Personally, I am not moved very much by the 'credentials' of any group participant. I'm more interested in whether or not what they say makes sense.

    Regarding the subject of these poorly-disguised flame-threads, I strongly support the idea of academic credit by assessment of prior learning. I don't really care if this isn't the "majority" or the "establishment" concept. It soon will be.

    But I think that the assessment has to be credible. If people already have knowledge and skills equivalent to a university degree in some subject, then I have no problem at all with them being able to demonstrate that fact in the minimum time necessary.

    However if a prospective student has no more knowledge of a university major subject than an average member of the general public, then I find any process that awards them a degree without the necessity of significant additional study to not be credible.

    I'm not entirely convinced that this is even possible. If it is possible, then the process is seriously flawed. If it isn't, then this is just a case of over-zealous sales.

    Probably most adults actually seeking a degree do have some pre-existing interest and experience with their subject and fall somewhere in the middle. I'm sure that they can speed things up considerably by use of examinations. But my expectation is that few are already fully prepared in every required area. So some additional study will be necessary.

    While I think that the basic principle is sound, I would be a lot more comfortable if the "four weeks" part were presented as an ideal case for those who are already well prepared and only need a quick review. But with the warning that a person who is less well prepared might need to put in more time and effort to get ready.
  11. EsqPhD

    EsqPhD member

    I agree. This little exercise is silly I admit--and for that I do apologize to everyone else for being a part of keeping it alive. Since I haven't heard any response from Bruce yet, let me just cancel this silly *public* credentialing of my undergraduate studies.

    Let us keep it to what Bill Dayson suggested--internet discussion based on what is said and discussed--and people can make up their own minds. I'm sure most people don't care where I practice law or what seminary I went to, or the specific courses in my undergraduate.

    Before I cancel my participation in this thread (not others), I want to make things absolutely clear to be fair to the BA proficiency exam people:

    **As indicated in part one, I believe that BA proficiency exams can be done--my hesitations come by manner of the quality and level of the exams and the time frame (4 weeks) for the average person. I think the reasonable person would have the same concerns I have.

    Now, if some of you really need to know the details of what I studied in my undergraduate program, law school, seminary, etc., you can e-mail me at [email protected] and I will give you my office number--you can call me and we can talk in a more personable and gentlemanly way--otherwise, I would prefer to end this thread discussion on my part. I will no longer be respond via this thread.

  12. se94583

    se94583 New Member

    I think this entire discussion is relatively moot, as the reality is that anyone possessing a degreee, whether its from a mill or Excelsior, et al., which was obtained in a short period via exams or portfolio review, will have a hard time justifying that degree in the real world. The vanity degree people don't want to hear that, but its true: as long as the gate-keepers (adademic, job, professional) are occupied by those who paid their dues by actually doing the work and spending the time, money and angst earning their degree the "traditional" way, their "exam based" DL degrees, whether they reflect actual knowledge and profeciency or not, will be perceived and treated as inferior.

    The Excelsior concept is great for someone, particularly military folks, who have 100 or more credits from varying institutions, and cannot fulfill any one institution's residency requirement for a degree. IMHO, its being abused by folks who walk in and try to claim a degree 100% by exam. That's cheapening the degree across the board. sometimes a degree is not simply a reflection of "what you know" but also a reflection of the process by which it was obtained.
  13. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Bill, that is exactly what is stated in the BA in 4 Weeks guide. I have many times had to correct your misinformation about its contents. You have in the past suggested that that I was conning people into believing anyone could earn a degree in 4 weeks. That was never the case and you were told that time upon time. Yet, you continued to suggest that was what was being proffered.

    Now, would you try actually reading the guide before again misrepresenting its contents?

    Another point, Bill, there are no over zealous sales. The BA in 4 Weeks guides are free. No one is selling anything.
  14. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    [bi]For those who don't know, Bill has a long record of rabid opposition to BA in 4 Weeks[/b/i]

    So you tut tut flames but then flame everyone and accuse them of exercising huge egos. And if memory serves Bill, you have in the past weighed in on this same issue in full measure and done the elephant two-step yourself.

    I think the issue of these guys credentials is relevant. Lewchuck has stated that without a "proper BA" we, the unwashed BA by examination graduates, cannot hope to understand the requirements of a legitimate degree.

    Fine. Clearly, Lewchuck does understand the requirements, and therefore must possess such a degree. So . . . what is it?

    EsqPhD has told us he too has credentials that could not be earned in any good time by examination. He tells us we will have to defend our degrees. OK, defend against what standard, exactly? Let us ask he who knows. What are EsqPhD credentials? He has offered his bachelor degree experience in evidence, Bill, and it is reasonable to ask him for a fuller accounting.

    But this thread is all about credentials Bill. These guys have held that they know something we don't know, by virtue of their credentials. Their credentials are therefore absolutely a pertinent issue.

    Now here again you resort to this unnecessary abusive language. Give it up.
  15. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    One more time . . .

    BA in 4 Weeks does not say an average person can earn a degree in a month.

    If you are going to comment on a subject like this, it may help if you actually took the time to read the text you are commenting on.

    It is clear that you have not. It is clear Bill has not. How can you possibly comment on a proposal you have not read?

    To make it easy for you, try reading the introduction, nothing more. That should be enough, I think.
  16. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    That has certainly not been my experience, so far. I've found it treated exactly the same as other degrees. But it is certainly true there is significant prejudice, the question is, how much does it affect degree utility. I have not found it to do so at all, so far.

    That is clearly wrong. If you are suggesting that a longer more expensive, less efficient method of achieving the same end is virtuous, I cannot agree.

    What matters is outcomes, not process. An achievement may feel more worthwhile because it takes longer, requires more of you time and effort, and it may well be. However, it may simply be that you have employed inefficient methodologies.

    Again, as a full time student, I would not attend class, but would sit the final exams. I would pass, and some of my fellow students would ask why I should go through with "so little effort" while they attended every class, and applied considerable effort.

    Where they right? Should I not have been allowed to continue, even though I'd demonstrated the required proficiency? Was it wrong that I employed more efficient
    learning methodologies? Should the economical use of time, effort, and resources be penalized?

    If the arbiter of success is "what you know", then regardless of how one learned, what matters is competency and nothing else.
  17. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    So, once again, when asked to provide evidence of this alleged superiority, both you and Lewchuck, take your leave.

    It will escape the notice of none, that having boasted of impressive credentials as evidence of what a real degree might be, you were unwilling and unable to substantiate that claim when challenged to do so.

    Most here, have been happy to give details of the source of our degrees. We have not snuck furtively away when asked the question, "where did you get your BA"?

    The reason it is relevant is because you held that degree up as an example of a legitimate credential, while questioning our credentials. Again, we are not hiding what academic qualifications we have or where we earned them.

    Lewchuck has told us we cannot understand the requirements of a "real" BA until we have gone through that "real" process. Since he clearly does understand, he has been asked to detail his bachelor's degree so that we may learn and benefit his example. Yet, since being asked to give basic details in evidence of his superior learning, he first switched threads, so that it was difficult for readers to follow the initial request, and now, well, now, he has disappeared.


    Two posters challenged the validity of earning bachelor's degrees by examination. They held their way to be superior.

    When asked the obvious question, "OK, so what degrees do you guys have, and from where?", they first declined to answer, one citing possible assassination if he told, then they both disappeared.

    One has since reappeared but only to say goodbye.

    Makes you want to go, Hmmmmmm.
  18. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Personally, I am not moved very much by the 'credentials' of any group participant. I'm more interested in whether or not what they say makes sense.

    I agree. However if your intent is to discredit the person (in lieu of addressing the issue under discussion) it helps to know credentials.
  19. B Liang

    B Liang member

    Reading this thread makes me sick. I don't give a hoot who is right or wrong. It seems like different views of education. But you rant and rave like a woman on PMS.
  20. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    But I think that the assessment has to be credible. If people already have knowledge and skills equivalent to a university degree in some subject, then I have no problem at all with them being able to demonstrate that fact in the minimum time necessary.

    I agree... the issue is credibility. If I am able to write a 3cr exam without preparation, an "average" student without a background in the subject should still take 150 hours to prepare for the same exam.

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