That Fancy University Course?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

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  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No, provided the degree/credit-granting institution maintains quality control.
    JoshD, chrisjm18 and SteveFoerster like this.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    What Rich said.
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  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    OK - as long as students get what they paid for - no less, in quality and content.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  6. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    As a card-carrying capitalist, I see this as a positive development. I've personally taken a variety of courses made by companies/ministries at universities and found them well-made.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  7. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I think they have a place however, I do prefer a course be developed by the content expert (Professor). So long as the courses are developed from the professors at these universities, I think it is great.

    I am not real big on cookie-cutter degrees. They are certainly useful but I just prefer a more individualized program.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Having taught at several universities, I can state with confidence that this assumption is not solid. Not only do we find "professors" lacking subject-matter expertise on occasion, we find "professors" with zilch for content development expertise all over the place. (NB: I've taught instructional design and delivery in both academic and corporate/organizational settings. I'm a Certified Professional in Talent Development with the ATD and I've graduated from UW-Madison's online instructional design certificate.)

    Whether in academia or corporate/organizational training, those two skill sets--subject matter expertise and instructional systems design expertise--are vital to learning development. However, it's been my experience in universities that these are assumed to be in the possession of faculty--without either ensuring that either through training or measurement. "Course experts" lacking instructional design expertise can put out some really ineffective stuff. Then add the fact that they're (typically) not trained in instructional delivery methods and you have the makings for a horrible experience.
    • Content curation
    • Instructional systems design
    • Instructional delivery
    All often assumed. Any single component missing and you have a disappointing learning experience.
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  9. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I did not say the instructional design. I said the actual content of the course. There is a big difference between deciding what content you want to teach and the actual creation of delivering that content.
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  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Right. I responded to what you said, challenging the notion that a "professor" somehow ensures better content. I disagreed, then noted that it is even worse than that.
    JoshD likes this.
  11. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I agree with Rich. I think the reality is that most professors do not enjoy designing courses (at least almost everyone I know). They prefer to teach (I do too). However, one ofmost significantggest issues with that are that they also often don't teach with the end in mind. I had to learn how to master this during my three years as a high school teacher. Some people will include learning outcomes in their syllabus, and some or all of their learning activities do not measure them. That's a problem. There's no good in being a content expert but cannot deliver the content effectively. Content knowledge and effective course design are essential to a successful course. I wouldn't say I like to develop master courses for others to use. Still, I created two online courses for two schools, which followed strict guidelines. Hence, I have no issue developing the courses. However, I don't find it to be the favorite part of being a faculty despite being QualityMatters certified.

    Perhaps it's even better when education companies develop courses because that's all the SMEs/course designers do. On the other hand, professors have so many responsibilities that course design may suffer, and students are cheated out of a quality learning experience.
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  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I've taught in several MBA programs. Here are my experiences at three:
    1. Here's the textbook and the last professor's syllabus. Write your syllabus and teach your course.
    2. Here's the textbook and the students' assignments and the weights of each assignment. Create and conduct a facilitated experience each week based on the learning outcomes for that week. You also have available other instructors' materials from around the world--they're all teaching the same standardized course--from which you can draw for your use.
    3. Here's the syllabus, (no textbook), schedule, learning objectives (enabling and terminal), materials, readings, exercises, assignments, and support materials. Teach it just as we designed it; it's all there.
    #1 was the most common--and the least effective.
    #3 was unique--and sometimes stifling--even though I was the course's author!
    #2 worked over and over again, no matter how frequently the university updated the MBA curriculum.
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  13. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I will share with you a couple of examples of what my weeks look like in the classes I am taking this term.

    1) Digital Marketing
    2) Data Analytics and Applications
    3) Financial Risk Management

    Financial Risk Management with Professor David Hsieh

    Screenshot_20220710-182436.png Screenshot_20220710-182443.png

    Data Analytics and Applications with Professor Mattia Ciollaro


    Digital Marketing with Professors Preyas Desai and Janet Schwartz

    Screenshot_20220710-182707.png Screenshot_20220710-182716.png

    Every week is structured like this for every class. We do not have texts books. We have readings with some optional, recorded lectures to view, live session, and then homework. We know what to expect every week in regards to the flow of the week and it makes for a very enjoyable and effective learning experience.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I do, however, like the didactic opportunities synchronous learning can produce. But that is so hit-and-miss depending on the instructor's ability.
    JoshD likes this.
  15. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  16. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    I graduated a 2U program at USC. Overall, we students could not see where 2U was involved other than their backend support to the point most/many of us recommended to drop 2U because we couldn’t identify the value they provided for the increased tuition costs. USC professors/program controlled and created content, provided it to 2U, and 2U updated it in the LMS. All of the content was of USC professors and the program was taught by USC professors. Their business model does increase support through an assigned student support team that we overwhelmingly didn’t use. The point being that 2U appears to take the admin stuff that presumably they can do better that doesn’t negatively impact the actual education environment; marketing, LMS backend, digital content editing and upload, etc.

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