Concordia University online M.Ed

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by Mike E, Aug 6, 2013.

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  1. Mike E

    Mike E New Member

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    Anyone here have experience with, or a strong opinion of, the Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) offered online by Concordia University in Portland?
     
  2. Mike E

    Mike E New Member

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    Well, let me rephrase my question.
    Concordia says their online M.Ed program is designed for busy working people who don't have any more than 20 hours a week to devote to their studies. And yet it is a one-year program. Rather than your choosing how many courses to take at a time, you're put on a schedule to be done in one year (one course at a time for five weeks each, I believe). I see other online programs that seem similar to me saying that students typically finish them in two or two-and-a-half years.
    How does that strike you? Is it reasonable to expect to be able to finish an M.Ed in one year? Does that sound like a more grueling pace than they advertise? Does it make you question the quality of the program?
     
  3. priyanka741

    priyanka741 member

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    this university have good reviews about course if you are interested then you can took admission
     
  4. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

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    I know this is a bit late, as the initial post was made a few months ago.

    I'm currently enrolled in the CU-Portland M.Ed. fast track (1 year) program and I'm currently on my 7th class. While I'm in a different specialization than the OP asked about (I'm in eLearning/Technology, not ESOL) the course progression is set up the same and I had a couple people in my cohort for my general studies who were ESOL specialization. It's had its ups and downs, but I'm *mostly* pleased with the program so far.

    The program is divided into two parts. The first part, which is 5 classes, covers general teaching theory, character education (it is a Lutheran School after all), educational research, and contemporary issues. The second part covers 4 specialization courses and, depending on what you choose, either a Research project or thesis (which is counted as the fifth course).

    In my experience, the courses are all set up pretty much the same way. There's usually two discussions (with replies) and either a third discussion (with replies) or larger paper/project due at the end of each week covering the topics for that week. Each class culminates with a (larger) final project or paper at the end of week five. The classes themselves range from 'ok' to 'pretty good' as far as the instructional design but I have run into a few silly errors that nag the heck out of me. The key for me has been the level of interaction from the instructor. I had one hellish course where the 'instructor' didn't do anything to facilitate the class but acted as a grader and that was it. It was kinda sad, because according to my online research, they were supposed to be a fairly competent teacher; they just treated the class as a second job that wasn't worth their time, in my opinion.

    I'm in my second specialization course right now, and the spec courses seem to be a lot more project driven. In my last course, Teaching in an Online Curriculum, we had to create our own online unit on a topic and then progressively flesh it out by adding technological enhancements and implementing best practices. While there wasn't a lot of actual 'classwork' (sometimes only one discussion in the week) the advancing project took a decent amount of time and attention and I feel that the learning experience I got from the creation process was pretty good.

    I've been teaching at the college level (traditional/in-class) for going on two years now and one of the biggest surprises that I've had going through the program is how much I'd learned already about teaching through trial and error. There were a few classes that pinpointed methods I'd had to adopt in a sink or swim situation and finding out how and why they worked was great. And of course, I'm happy to get any additional tools in my teaching toolbox.

    So, TLDR: As a CU student in the program with a different spec track, I'm getting a lot out of it, but that's not to say you won't hit bumps in the road with the faculty or instructional design. YMMV.
     
  5. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

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    So, I've completed the program and am currently awaiting conferral of the degree. It's on the expensive side (you could get almost two Masters degrees from AMU/APU for the price) but it met my needs. As I stated in the last post, I took the eLearning/Technology specialization track; if I had it to do over again, I would have taken a different specialization. There are a bunch of schools that offer the same type of stuff covered in the eLearning component as a grad cert currently, and I might have a little more utility out of the degree with a more specific area like Math, Science, Social Studies, or what not. C'est la vie, right?

    The instructional design issues continued through the remaining courses, and to be honest, it really pissed me off. It was sloppy, especially concerning the fact that we were going through creating our own online courses to be held to a higher standard than the course structure in which we were given our class material. Seemed rather hypocritical, and I let them know that they should look at cleaning that crap up and improving the needed areas every step of the way. At least all of my faculty for those final courses were pretty good, especially the professor who ran the final Action Research course.

    If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them.
    -T
     
  6. Afterhours

    Afterhours Member

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    Concordia has some terms with which I am unfamiliar. What is an "Action Research" course, for example? What are they referencing when they discuss "editing"? It does not sound as though they are discussing one's own work.

    I'm excited about the prospect of a masters in one year. I hope to begin this Summer.

    Realistically, how many hours must be devoted to the program each week?

    What types of bumps or technical glitches do some of the posters reference?

    I'm very interested to hear about the experiences of others.

    Thank you.
     
  7. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

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    Concordia denotes "Action Research" as the following

    It's basically a capstone course that you can take in place of doing a thesis that you plan during the first week of the five week course while also expanding the literature review completed in the Educational Research course to double its size, gather your baselines for whatever problem you are researching in week two, implement during weeks three and four, and analyze and put your results in project format during week five. This research in addition to your literature review is your completed action research project. Mine ended up being about 65 pages in length total.

    As far as the 'bumps' that I experiences, they were things like links not working, links to the wrong items, sloppy instructional design on assignments, having the students approach topics out of logical order, stuff like that.

    Sometimes I spent five or so hours a week on the course material, sometimes I spent fifteen to twenty. It really depended on what the topic was and what I was doing with it.
     
  8. paggy

    paggy New Member

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    How much do they charge for that courses . ?
     
  9. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

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    Their tuition recently increased in price, mine was $650/hour if I recall correctly. Like I said, it wasn't cheap but it did what I needed it to do when I needed it done. My books for all my courses and an iPad mini were covered in the tuition as well.
     
  10. JimmyH

    JimmyH New Member

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    Much better programs out there

    Attempted my M.Ed there then switched to Penn State. Very glad I did. CU made me feel like they simply wanted my money... and my friends money. A few profs were very good, but limited by the format. I also have heard from several other unhappy students who just want to finish. At the end of the day, I sadly couldn't tell you one thing I learned.
    There are so many more options out there today, I would say avoid Concordia!
     
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Not to be a grouch or anything like that, but it is traditional when asking about a particular school to provide a weblink. It helps your fellow members to help you better.
     
  12. chawke

    chawke New Member

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    Question for TMW2009

    I was very interested in your responses in this thread because I am getting ready to start that same degree program tomorrow (M.ED in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in eLearning/Technology). I appreciate your honesty about the program and I will watch for those things. My question to you is I have the same concerns of whether this is the right concentration for me instead of one of the other choices. Although interested in Online Teaching in the future (Elementary or possibly even college level education courses), for my current situation I am mostly interested in something along the line of Technology Education Consultant;Technology Education; or K-12 Education Technology Supervisor in a school setting. Do you feel that this degree will provide for those opportunities? Or is it mostly focused on online teaching? I have time to change my concentration if necessary and would love some feedback on the courses that you took.
     
  13. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

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    Out of the four courses that make up the emphasis, I felt they gave use two (Teaching in an Online Curriculum & Instructional Strategies for the Online Teacher) out of order. Teaching in an Online Curriculum involves learning about what Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Content Management Systems (CMS) are, researching them, and ultimately making a course (or at least part of a course) using them. It did talk about the difference between online and classroom environments and how to approach things like discussion threads and such. Instructional Strategies was about actually creating viable online classes and laying out the course material. Good if you want to get used to creating material and content for courses. It was my opinion that we should have had Instructional strategies first to get used to making the content and then Teaching in an Online Curriculum to take what we created and put it all together in a viable online course setting. I think they missed a great opportunity in that respect. There was also a bit of overlap between the two.

    The other two courses in the specialty area are Ethical and Social Issues for the Online Instructor (Honestly, it was a small portion about ethics, and more about social issues) and then Assessment. I went into the Assessment course thinking it would be about creating assessments for students; not exactly while it did cover things like performance vs. traditional assessments and a small amount of instructional design, it also included learning how to assess online courses and entire online programs to make sure they meet the levels of acceptability from iNACOL and Quality Matters.

    I'm not sure how well the degree would stand up for the positions of which you're speaking. They may want someone with a higher level of Instructional Design background. It is mostly focused on online teaching; if I had to do it over again, I'd go with a different specialization and if I really wanted the paper, grab a grad cert in eLearning or similar.

    Let me know if there's anything else I can answer for you.
    -T
     
  14. chawke

    chawke New Member

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    Thank you for your quick response. Very helpful. I have some thinking to do.
     
  15. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

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    Well, I'm guinea pigging this; I'm actually applying for a few positions of the types you specified, both at the k-12 and post-secondary level. One thing I'm noticing is that many of the places are wanting a lot of AV and web dev experience, in addition to the instructional design experience - which, on average, they seem to be asking for 3 years experience. I'll let you know if it works out for me.
     

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