"Washout" Thread

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Randell1234, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Among other, the AKAD Nanodegree for free I talked about in another thread. I would not have enrolled if it was not free.
    Dustin likes this.
  2. Jodokk

    Jodokk Member

    Let's see... Dropped out of WNMU's History/Criminal Justice program back in 2010. LOVED it. but life was rather complex that year, and I was teaching too much to really do it "justice." (seewhutididthar?)
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  3. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Washed out of University of South Wales MA in Buddhist studies. Terrible program on several fronts; do not recommend.
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Well, now you have me curious.
    RoscoeB and SteveFoerster like this.
  5. freeloader

    freeloader Member

    I have only washed out of one program, but it was a doozy. I spent 10 years in graduate school in history- 2 to complete my masters degree and 8 working on my PhD at very well regarded program.

    I passed all my coursework, passed my comprehensive examinations, presented/defended my dissertation prospectus, spent the better part of a year researching (mainly in the National Archives in DC/Maryland), and 4 years writing.

    During my writing phase my advisor (who was older) unexpectedly retired, declined to take emeritus status (which would have allowed him to continue to serve as my chair), and died.

    I had burned some bridges with faculty members and ended up being inherited by someone with quite different research interests and methodologies to my own. It wasn’t a good fit, I think it’s safe to say.

    My long-undiagnosed but long-present depression also got out of hand. I ended up registering for research hours but didn’t turn anything in for 2 semesters and was dropped from the program. Ironically, I was actively working on my dissertation but in the throes of my depression, I couldn’t bring myself to turn in my work or even talk to my advisor. At the time I was dropped, the draft of my dissertation was almost 300 types-pages long with a 200 page statistical annex.
    housecat, RoscoeB, JBjunior and 3 others like this.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Man, freeloader, that one stings!
    housecat and RoscoeB like this.
  7. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Ah, the list of issues. First, the instructor wasn't particularly engaged with the course. I found him very knowledgeable but he clearly had other priorities going on at the University. My perception may be wrong, but I get the sense that USW adopted this program from another University and it really isn't in their mandate. Maybe it makes money or serves some other University metric. Second, the program was extraordinarily juvenile. The assignments were mostly looking up words in various textbooks and regurgitating the text. Barely acceptable for first year undergrad, never mind graduate study. Critical questions / understanding of Buddhists ideas or texts were almost non-existent and of limited interest to the class. Third, the classmates. In other programs I've taken the classmates were almost universally of a reasonable academic ability and intent. Overall, this program had a large contingent of individuals who didn't seem interested in serious inquiry into Buddhism (e.g. think "Sunday School" vs "critical Biblical exegesis"). At times, it had the characteristic of a "faith based" program rather than a program of religious studies from a secular University. Finally, the approach of the instructor. The instructor appeared to have an "anti-Western" bias at times which I found inappropriate and even counter-productive for understanding Eastern thought. Literally, common academic interpretations of certain Buddhist ideas were simply discarded due to their asserted "Western bias" without demonstrating that they were "Western bias" and not a correct understanding of the concept.

    If any one or two of these were present, I would have continued. All four was too much too bear. At least the program was relatively inexpensive and I got a chunk of my tuition refunded.

    Of course mileage may differ, but this was my experience.
  8. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Dropped out of the MS in Finance at the University of Oklahoma. It was an online program but required live sessions (2) nights per week on Tuesday and Thursday (1.5 hours each night). Could not commit to have that much time away from family. It appears to be a good program but was not conducive to my lifestyle.
    RoscoeB, Maniac Craniac and Dustin like this.
  9. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    I never did a full washout of a school but did washout of my original undergrad goal degree program. I wanted a mechanical engineering degree to align with my career path and open up some promotion opportunities. At the time I lived in remote AK and I completed a ton of CLEP and also some foundational engineering related math courses and things like physics online. I got to a course called statics and about three days into the course I knew there was no way I was going to be able to complete the course by distance; I was definitely going to need some direct instruction and that wasn't an option in my location so I dropped it. Looking ahead at other courses in the pipeline I knew I would have similar struggles, and I wanted to use my time in remote AK to at least get a degree of some kind, so I changed programs for the next logical option, Liberal Studies.
    Dustin, RoscoeB and Maniac Craniac like this.
  10. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Mine really weren't "washout" per say... but I had three! Does the school losing DETC (yes, before they changed their name to DEAC) accreditation count? An RA, yet expensive online school went out of business and closed, I blame their management. How about a small private school closing their doors after 19 years?
    housecat, RoscoeB and Maniac Craniac like this.
  11. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with a degree change. Statics is notoriously challenging and unfortunately often used for gate keeping. Taking it via distance learning is excruciating.
    JBjunior and JoshD like this.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    I used to teach stats in both undergraduate and graduate programs, albeit in the classroom. But I'm also an experienced online instructor, and I can see some real advantages to doing it online, especially asynchronously. Two in particular: the instructor, acting as a facilitator, can adjust his/her time spent for more needy students. They can get left behind in the classroom. Second, students can turn to each other for support more readily--a characteristic of adult learning embraced by online learning, but not in the traditional classroom.

    But maybe I'm missing something?
  13. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I could not imagine taking courses on shear force diagrams, bending moment diagrams, etc. via distance learning without having a very strong foundation in the field.
    Dustin and JBjunior like this.
  14. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    You taught stats. The program that was impossible was statics. Different topics. ;)
    Vonnegut, JBjunior and Rich Douglas like this.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    My bad. I assumed (wrongly) that it was a typo. Now I have to go read about statics. Thanks!

    (But my question as to why an online delivery method makes that tougher still stands.)
    RoscoeB likes this.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Why? What about the delivery format makes it more difficult?
  17. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    The online programs I've been in have not generally had "office hours" or review sessions or tutorials in the way that my face-to-face instruction has. Usually you're self teaching or reviewing the prepared materials with the option of a phone call or video session if you're really struggling, but without the kind of sustained weekly support from an experienced person you might expect.

    If you already have a strong foundation that can work great but I can imagine for a challenging engineering or physics course that could be tough or impossible.
    JBjunior, JoshD and Vonnegut like this.
  18. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    I’ve taken multiple statistics courses online, undergraduate and graduate level. Wasn’t a problem at all. Although some were certainly better than others.

    Statics though is often akin to one of those gatekeeper courses for engineering and physics programs. Often has a high failure rate and a reputation as a degree killer. I did take a graduate level statics course, online, as part of an engineering degree program. My capstone was less stress than that course. The professor was also the program director at an R1 university and considered it one of his flagship courses. An average problem in it took me around 5-10 pages of documentation, and I’d often exceeded that. Had to draw upon and apply previous coursework from physics, math, and engineering.
    JBjunior likes this.
  19. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I think it is the fact that highly quantitative courses, in my opinion, work better when you have high interaction with the professor. Unless you already have a highly quantitative background.
    JBjunior likes this.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Okay. But in a facilitated, asynchronous format, one should (theoretically) have a LOT more access to the professor than one would find in a classroom.

    I'm trying to see the distinction, but I'm not.

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