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Many College Students Unimpressed With Online Classes

Many College Students Unimpressed With Online Classes

“say they are being shortchanged”

Who can blame students for feeling this way? This isn’t the experience they signed up for.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Feeling Shortchanged

Arica Kincheloe said she took a risk quitting her job and moving halfway across the country from Seattle to attend the University of Chicago’s nationally ranked master’s program in social service administration.

But now that her courses for the one-year accelerated program were moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kincheloe, a first-generation college graduate from a low-income background, is questioning what more than $50,000 in student loan debt will mean for her future.

“It’s a throwaway — a shortened quarter. They took away one week of the quarter,” she said. “I do not feel like I am getting the same education that I would have otherwise. The sort of enrichment and learning that I would have in the classroom isn’t there.”

Students who were already struggling to stay afloat while managing the heavy cost of their education, which for Kincheloe exceeds $66,300 for one year, say they are being shortchanged by the online classes.

They’re not alone — students at University of California campuses and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts have echoed similar concerns about tuition not adding up to the education they were promised. Students at Miami and Drexel Universities filed a class action lawsuit for tuition refunds, but most colleges have generally been offering refunds on room and board fees, not tuition.

More than 1,500 Chicago students have signed a petition calling for a 50 percent tuition reduction for the spring quarter, which began on April 6. The private institution is one of the most costly in the United States, and students who support a lowered tuition are asking the university to go beyond the student services fee reduction it has already made, Kincheloe said.


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healthguyfsu | April 14, 2020 at 3:03 pm

Tuition won’t be refunded if you are still getting instruction and a final grade, even if it isn’t as good.

It was pretty dumb of her to spend that much per year anyways for a master’s in “Social service administration”. Grad programs that are worth their salt to the economy actually pay for themselves (like STEM for example).

    RickCaird in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 15, 2020 at 8:23 am

    I am going to disagree. An MBA often leads to promotion and higher pay. I would expect the same thing with a masters in Social Service Administration. There are a lot of Social Services out there. I could easily see where the benefits of the degree outweigh the costs.

      healthguyfsu in reply to RickCaird. | April 15, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      I’d love to see the math on that. Or that it pays much more to get that from a private school across the country than from a public (where you would probably have more eligibility for reimbursement).

      Also, Social services is bubbled up in government jobs which can be a lot harder to find (like jobs bubbled up in bad majors), unlike an MBA, so I don’t think you can just equate the two so easily.

The STEM lab courses are badly compromised by distance learning. How do students learn to carry out hazardous reactions safely and efficiently at home? All they can do is watch videos, and try to catch up once they get back to school.

“They took away one week of the quarter,” she said. “I do not feel like I am getting the same education that I would have otherwise. The sort of enrichment and learning that I would have in the classroom isn’t there.”

A whole WEEK? Wah. Welcome to reality, where things are not fair. It’s called, “Life”.

Substituting online for in-person education is sorta like substituting a bus for that cross-country plane ticket you bought: both may take you to the same place, but it’s a very different journey.

Although if one compares one of those courses taught in an auditorium-sized “classroom” to online, or a badly taught in-person course to an online course done superbly, the analogy might be reversed. Nonetheless, one expects to pay less for a recording than for front-row seats at the concert.

As for STEM labs, virtual labs may be an alternative to “watch a video” as they’re at least interactive, and can produce at least some spectacular audio and video if you do something stupid. And, really, most in-person labs have become so safe (did you really think they’ll let you handle any acid stronger than household vinegar in that chem lab?) that you can afford to be as careless as if the lab were virtual.

Nonetheless, just as a map can never be the territory, a simulation is not the real thing.

SeekingRationalThought | April 14, 2020 at 8:26 pm

Thats ok. Many of us are unimpressed by college students. 🙂 and with a lot more reason.

My college students are home, as is my recently launched grad.
My Cornell senior is enjoying his online course work and thinks profs are doing a good job trying to connect and provide meaningful content. He has break out discussion and project groups – -all going well. Many of his classmates have had job offers rescinded – particularly his Hospitality School friends. Will be tough year for these graduates.

Daughter home from Texas Uni misses her friends and independent life away from home, but courses, tests, papers are business as usual. (business major). No complaints. We will be getting a partial dorm refund for her. My recently launched 23 year old is back -evacuated from job in S Africa, taking online courses, fishing, crabbing, hunting. Very unsure of future, but seems untroubled. Resilient, smart kids. Conservative politically and personally. A little too much swearing, tho!

Sue and bankrupt the bastards.

No social services administrator is worth even half that much money though stupid government employers would happily pay for it. Social services are usually tax payer funded because the private sector can not sell them except for private prisons.