What was your first nontraditional course?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Mac Juli, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    I remember fondly my first nontraditional course. It was in 2000, and the topic was "Quality management for beginners". I studied it at a private institute in Germany; and I did it to perform better on my student job.

    As said, it was 2000. The course was delivered on six booklets, and an audiocassette with relaxation techniques was included. There were assignments which should be solved and then, you sent them with mail (no, not e-Mail) to the institute for grading. Two weeks later, you got the response. What I especially remember was the assignment in which we should make a project network plan. Today, this is not a problem when you got a software like MS Project, but then this was not really widespread (and no, in 2000, it was possible to download something from the internet, but the costs were approximately as high as buying this blasted thing) - so, we calculated everything by hand.

    Oh, and in case somebody doesn't know any more what an audiocassette is: see here. My daughter (born 2006) did not know it!!

    What was your first nontraditional course?

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I guess that would have to be Mohawk - the Native (Iroquoian) language. I took an evening course at a Native centre, back about 20 years ago. Our teacher's regular job was teaching Grade 6 in a school on the Reserve. She did a great job and had us doing a few side things, like making dream-catchers etc. As an adult, I've taken some other languages - Ukrainian, Chinese etc. but those weren't really in a non-traditional environment. They were (mostly) adult evening classes that carried official high-school or college credit - whether I needed it or not.

    The only other non-traditional courses I've taken are some hobby-oriented, hybrid snail-mail and Internet courses - digital photography, gardening etc. - and a couple of programming courses in the early days (late 70s early 80s). Most of the stuff I've done over the years has been regular college / university. I did three years of Credit Management stuff for my work in the 70s by correspondence, but that, too, was for a professional Institute and administered by a University -so traditional as well, I guess.
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    My first non-traditional experience was a CXC O'level subject/course back in 2008-2009. I don't even remember the name of the company but I had won a competition and received a free course. I had the material emailed to me periodically. I passed the subject when I took the external exam. I then matriculated into college (University of the Commonwealth Caribbean), studying part-time face-to-face while working full-time. After the police academy, I needed a more flexible way to balance the rigors of law enforcement and earning a degree. So, I found Ashworth College, back then it was mostly correspondence. I had my learning guides and textbooks shipped. I was pursuing a Career Diploma in Forensic Science. About a month later, I enrolled in the AAS in Security Management (online) with the textbooks shipped to me. The rest is history!
  4. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    Depends on your definition of nontraditional.

    First online, non-credit class: 2013, in high school, when I used Udemy to help bolster my programming/scripting knowledge for a class I was taking in HS.
    First self-paced class: 2013, completed all the coursework for my maths class in 2 weeks, got my grades, took the final, and was able to dip out of class for the rest of the year.
    First online, for-credit class: 2015, Humanities 101. Teacher was a real weird one, demanded that we make a diorama or poster presentation and take a picture of the physical poster for the class grade.
    First nontraditional, self-paced, online class: 2017, Sophia's Developing Effective Teams.
    First online certificate course: 2017, when I got my VMware cert in the VMware class through an unproctored exam while the professor was teaching because getting the VMware cert, per the syllabus, automatically gave us a 100% on all remaining assignments including the final exam. I still did the work, but no more fretting while doing it.

    I've always done better with self-paced courses, that's why nontraditional options work better for me. That's why I elected to do the WGU Bachelor's, the ENEB MBA and several more, and don't think I could reasonably get a PhD with my style and level of activity because I'd go insane
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    My senior year in high school, I took 6 AP courses. 3 of them were also co-op courses in affiliation with the flagship state university, so I only ended up taking the AP exam for the other 3 classes. I wound up with 24 credits out of high school, but it took me many years to cash them in for use towards a degree.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I've still got about 300 of them, mostly Jazz, R&B, Blues - and guitar music of ALL kinds. They're still in the wall-rack I built in the 80s. My last cassette player died in 1998. You can buy gadgets now that transfer them to CD. I'll probably do that the week before the world's last CD player dies.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    My first non-traditional college course was Calculus 1 at Indiana University at Bloomington.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    "Nontraditional" is such a relative term. I know, I specialized in "nontraditional higher education" in my Union PhD.

    In John Bear's 6th edition (1980), "nontraditional" meant anything outside of daytime, full-time study. Correspondence courses, self-directed and student-centered learning, even plain old night school were very much "nontraditional."

    By the end of that decade, night school was hardly "nontraditional." Unaccredited DL programs were no longer treated similarly to accredited ones, etc.

    After that, it became pointless to list schools offering degrees at night and/or weekends; they were (and are) everywhere.

    My first nontraditional class wasn't a class at all. It was the CLEP General Battery. I think my first truly nontraditional class was in graduate school (National University), where I took two stats classes online. (Yes, in 1983!) Well, "on computer," anyway. I had to go into one of the plethora of campus locations to access the computer. Also, I did a couple of classes by independent study (because of my military commitments).
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  9. eriehiker

    eriehiker Active Member

    It is kind of funny, but the first college class I ever completed was an accounting class at the local community college. This was in 1991 and I was sixteen. It was in the summer and I just decided to take a class instead of getting a job. This was before the dual enrollment craze and people didn't know it was possible for a high school kid to take college classes before high school graduation. I had to have my high school fill out a form giving the okay. Everyone else in the class was a mid-career adult hoping to advance in existing careers and I just had this class to focus on. The professor called me "boy genius" in class and I am sure that I annoyed everyone there, but I ended up with an A. I sort of consider that non-traditional even though it was a butt-in-seat class.

    I also completed a master's degree that was largely delivered via VCR tapes that were mailed to me.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Is that a criminal offence or something that powers a Tesla? :)
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yeah, man. It was like I stole a year of college credit in just a few hours.
    Johann and Maniac Craniac like this.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    That's awesome. Not like here. Years behind bars - you can get. Years of college - not so easy.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Did an A.A. in 6 weeks. Did a B.S. in 18 months. Did a B.A. in 3 more. I owe more for my college education to the Ticonderoga #2 than anything else.
    Johann likes this.
  14. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Cool! Could be another thread: "which was your best speedrun". Shall we?
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Rich! I haven't laughed that hard in weeks! :)
  16. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    A little off topic, but when you ask someone to roll down the window, what motion do you make? Most of us move our hand in a circle, imitating the hand crank. Younger kids grew up with power windows so they point down.

    Same with "talking on the phone" gesture. We use our index and pinky finger to imitate a wired phone, but young kids will make their palm flat like a smart phone.
  17. innen_oda

    innen_oda Active Member

    I suspect the motion for dialing a phone might REALLY date some of us. I well remember rotary phones. When we got our first button dial phone, I remember being impressed at how quickly you could dial an entire number. No more waiting for that 9 to slooooowly work it's way back around.
    Rich Douglas and Mac Juli like this.
  18. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Oh, only a little off topic at the meta-topic is exchanging old memories!! :)
    Another funny thing: I played the PC game "Theme Hospital" with my daughter. She asked what these boxes on top of the desks in the research dept. are supposed to be. - Of course, the answer is: an old CRT monitor.
    Dustin likes this.
  19. bceagles

    bceagles Member

    Getting back to the question at hand....

    My first non traditional credit earned was “ACC 111 Investments” from Bunker Hill community college’s Center for Self Directed Learning. Spring of 2000.

    It looks like the delivery method has changed, they now require weekly visits to the campus: https://www.bhcc.edu/csdl/

    Back in 2000, all you had to do was enroll in the course, get the syllabus and assignments, and start completing the required assignments and tests. You could submit assignments as quickly or slowly as you wanted. You came into the center to take your tests, and that was pretty much it. It was really convenient, I want to say it was “easy”. Easy in the sense that I was familiar with the subject matter and just flew thru it. Enrollment was “open” at the time, so I immediately registered for and completed “BUS 101 Intro to Business”, just as quickly.

    Comparable, at one point I enrolled in “ENGL 101 English Writing and Rhetoric” via University of Idaho’s Independent Study option, https://www.uidaho.edu/academics/online-learning/independent-study. The course was reasonably priced ($300) and it was self paced, no deadlines was appealing. Unfortunately the loose structure didn’t work for me, I never completed the course.

    English 101 was one of my toughest hurdles in obtaining my degree, I eventually completed it in person via the University of Phoenix. As much much criticism as UOP receives, I remember the course being well designed and delivered.

    I hope my examples of Non Traditional credits helps those on this forum working on completed their undergraduate degree.

    Thanks for posting this question!
    Mac Juli likes this.
  20. innen_oda

    innen_oda Active Member

    Ha - I just bought this game from GOG yesterday. A whole €1.29 to be instantly transported back to a time when PC games weren't quite such SRS BSNS.

    . . . I hope I'm not the only one who sorts games on GOG by 'oldest first'.
    Mac Juli likes this.

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