WNMU so far

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mattbrent, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    After reading Jennifer's posts on Harvard, I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon and start a post about my experience thus far with WNMU. Mind you, I'm only in the second week!

    I'm taking two courses this semester. These are POLS 505 - American Constitutional Development and POLS 516 - Border Issues & US/Mexico Relations. Both courses are with the same professor, who is also my advisor for the PolySci portion of the MAIS degree. So far I'm impressed with the workload. Granted I haven't done much, being in the second week and all, but I'm looking forward to what I have to do. I'm pleased that this program is not full of "joke" classes that people take just to get a degree.

    Both courses have discussions, exams, and book reviews. The Constitutional Development course requires 6 position papers on constitutional topics. The Border Issues course also requires a position paper on an issue. It looks like a bit of work, but hopefully I won't get too bogged down over the course of 16 weeks.

    To be honest, I feel like I'm not doing enough. In both courses we have one discussion question. I was a little disappointed, however, in that there is no set schedule for discussion. With Walden, I knew I had to post my first discussion response on Wednesday, and had to respond to others by Sunday. With APU, I had to do everything by Sunday each week. I happened to log on one day to one class and see a post from the professor from the day before. It was a discussion requirement for that week which was due that evening. I thought "Crap! I've gotta get crackin' on that!" I was a bit disappointed because I wasn't expecting it. The same thing happened in the other course. This makes me wonder, however, it it's more because of the professor rather than the standard for the degree program.

    In previous courses, I've liked to map out the course, marking down assignment due dates throughout the session so that I could prepare for them. Unfortunately, I can't do this completely in the courses I'm in. The major assignments have due dates, and the readings are scheduled, but there is no timeline for discussion. That would be my biggest complaint. However, were I to be enrolled in this program without having previously taken courses at 4 other DL schools, I might not be complaining.

    I do have to say, however, that the professor has been participating in the discussion much more than most professors I've had in the past. I enjoy feedback, because as a teacher I know the benefits of it, so I appreciate the professor's time.

    For others who have taken classes through WNMU, is this discussion situation something I can expect in each course, or do other courses have a set discussion schedule?

  2. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    Matt, I'm so glad you are posting your experience. As you know, I almost started this semester right along with you. I too would be freaked out about discussion requirements. I really need to know what's due and when in order to plan- so I can see how that causes a lot of stress for you.

    How many people are in your class? Also, what will be your exit requirement for this concentration? Since this professor is your advisor, it seems as if you will have a lot of interaction with him (lol I won't say butt kissing).

    Other questions- is there any video or audio lecture? Also, how many books did they require for these classes? What are your plans for exams- do you need a local proctor? Even though I'm not a polisci or history person, Border Issues looks VERY interesting! GOOD LUCK TO YOU this term!!!
  3. friartuck

    friartuck New Member


    What are the reading assignments like? How many books do you need to read and how many pages per week? What are the position papers, 8-10 pages? No tests I'm guessing. MLA or APA format?


  4. Sowak777

    Sowak777 New Member

    How long are the papers? Any quizzes? Anything proctored via webcam? Proctored mid-term and final? THANKS!
  5. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    Good luck with the studies and thanks for the update.
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I was going to post my University of Florida "blog" like post too but it would be really short...I dropped out. ;)
  7. Vinipink

    Vinipink Accounting Monster

    Did you also dropped out the finance program as well?
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Not really - just on the back burner.
  9. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    So far I've had a similar experience at WNMU, though I find the work load to be a bit heavier, primarily due to the Organized Crime course. The classes also started a week apart, so I'm technically in week 1 of my MIS course and week 2 of my CJUS course. The problem is scheduling, I basically received a 0 for week 1 in CJUS because I scheduled according to the MIS course timeline. My mistake, but a costly one.

    I will say one thing, WNMU definitely is not as say, "wired" as some schools with online programs. I've had a few problems with Mustang Express, their payment system isn't all that great and I'm not a huge fan of WebCT.
  10. thesage43

    thesage43 New Member

    Just wanted to say thanks for the updates. I will be starting at WNMU this summer. I to had a minor glitch with Mustang express and communication with my advisor was a bit slow(Pysc. and Education). Overall, every contact I have had with WNMU has been friendly and pleasant. Again thanks for the updates Mattbrent and Friendorfoe.

  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    I thought I would add that I had received a conditional letter of acceptance this fall for a summer term start date. I finally got my transcripts forwarded this past Friday, 16 January. From what I have been told by WNMU, it seems that financial arrangements need to be made no later than 23 January. I'm not sure whether my transcripts will arrive in time for a decision on financial aid for the spring term :eek: , so I'm thinking that I'll probably just re-apply for the summer term. :confused: That said, my parents did get me the books for POLS 512 Inter-American Relations and POLS 516 Border Issues for Christmas, so I'll be reading those this spring and hopefuilly I'll be a bit ahead next time those courses are offered. :)
  12. gonenomad

    gonenomad New Member

    The payment system does have issues; and, unfortunately you cannot pay over the phone. It took several calls to tech support before I was able to pay. Apparently they shut down the payment system over the weekend and it wasn't up when I tried to pay monday morning.

    To whoever stated that they didn't like WebCT I will point out that the new Blackboard system is awful. I taught online last semester and felt it was a step backwards from the previous blackboard version. Of course, I finished my last online masters using WebCT so I find it very comfortable to use.
  13. tmartca

    tmartca New Member

    When I started WNMU last Fall I took NA Relations with Dr. Manzanarez and the schedule of the discussions was something I had to get used to. However, I would argue (and I talked with a couple of my former education professors who specialize online education about this) and they state that it is important to log-on to the course everyday. It keeps up motivation since people who tend to not log-in everyday tend to have lower motivation levels and don’t do as well. I don’t know if that is his intent, but I found that last term (before I even talked to my former professors about the discussions) I was more motivated to log-in to see his class as opposed to the other class I took where the discussions were already scheduled ahead of time. My other current class is in Psychology, and she has a set schedule for discussions so I think it is just something Dr. Manzanarez does.

    BTW, log-on to 505 ASAP: he just posted another discussion.
  14. tmartca

    tmartca New Member

    Since BlackBoard acquired WebCT 1-2 years ago I would expect WebCT to either go the way of the dinosaur or get as bad as the new BlackBoard.
  15. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    Hi all! Thanks for your responses. I'm glad to see we're getting such interaction :) I'll try to answer some of your questions below.

    How many people are in your class?
    In Borderlands there are about 10. I say about because it is cross listed and in Mustang Express I can only see those enrolled under the POLS listed. Also, it seems people either haven't done intros, or there are people still adding the class.

    In Constitutional Development, I believe there are about 12. I don't think either of those are bad sizes.

    Also, what will be your exit requirement for this concentration?
    According to Dr. Manzanarez, who is my POLS advisor, (Dr. Hernandez is my HIST advisor) I have the option of a thesis or comps. I'm probably going to opt for comps and save the thesis for when I do my masters solely in history. This degree is merely to get the credits necessary to teach the community college courses for my high school so I can save them $10K a class and not get any of that :)

    Is there any video or audio lecture?

    There may be with other courses, but I do not believe there are with either of these courses.

    Also, how many books did they require for these classes?
    Borderlands required 4. Two are basically course texts, and the other 2 are the books we have to do reviews on. I have to say that so far, they are pretty easy reads. Gosh, I had one book for the political parties class I took at APU and it was just gobbledegook. I'm pleased that these books are more down to earth.

    Constitutional Development has 2 books. One is the main text (which, unfortunately I have not recieved yet) and the other is one which we have to review.

    What are your plans for exams- do you need a local proctor?
    Both courses have an exam. I did not see anything in the syllabus about a proctor, so I'm assuming we don't need one.

    How long are the papers?
    The book reviews for both courses are 3-4 pages SINGLE spaced (which I find odd).

    The Borderlands course has a position paper, but I don't see a length requirement written.

    Constitutional development has 6 position papers about different issues. They are also 3-4 pages single spaced.

    MLA or APA?
    I could not find a specific answer for this. However, I was told over at APU that the Political Science discipline uses APA. I'll take their word for it. (Man... I soooo miss Chicago Style)

    What are the reading assignments like?
    I'd say it depends. It seems to be a chapter or two per class. I don't think that's too rough. That's like 40-50 pages a week per class I'd say. The books are easy to read though, so it's not like it's a gruesome 40-50 pages.

    I'm really looking forward to this program. Dr. Manzanarez seems pretty with it. He's involved in the participation, which is a change. As an advisor he was pretty informative early on, though I haven't talked to him in that role lately.

  16. gonenomad

    gonenomad New Member

    As I was finishing my second masters at UMD the switch from WebCT to Blackboard was made in my last semester. The college where I currently teach also uses the software. I am really not a fan of Blackboard. Over the last semester it has lost grades, lost students, lost files, and more.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2009

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