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First Sophia credit, academic level? how in compare other courses
#1
"Congratulations, you've successfully completed all course requirements.
It may take up to 2 business days to finalize your course and prepare your official transcript."

Yeah, that feels good! My first (USA) credit, at a Sophia free course.

But this is open book, im wondering what these free courses at Sophia compares with other courses.
Are the other courses more difficult? Are the free courses easy in compare with others?

Is it harder to complete the other courses on academic level? ( at the universitys, study.com etc) And to be honest, is Sophia open book academic level?

Love to read all about it!
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#2
There are as many classes out there now as there are stars in the night sky. Some are easy and take a day. Some take weeks, months and even years.

The free Sophia classes are easy. Sophia also has what many on this site believe to be the most user-friendly course interface. It is really well-done. That's why they give a few credits away for free. People take those classes, fall in love and then pay Sophia's higher price.

I just finished the art history classes at Sophia and they take some thought. Sophia's niche is to provide introductory courses in a game-style, spoon-fed interface. Study.com and straighterline are meat and potatoes providers. They have the core classes that people here need to complete the bulk of a degree. They have harder classes and more clunky interfaces.

There are also incredibly difficult alternative classes. I took the now defunct edX differential equations classes and I pulled all-nighters and had to beg the teaching assistant for a chance to earn an extra tenth of a percent.

This kind of degree is really a lot of fun and it frequently requires problem-solving capabilities. I think that is a great feature of alternative degrees.

Also, I wouldn't worry too much about whether courses are at an appropriate academic level.

It is certainly true that these online courses are not equal in difficulty to classes I took during my initial undergrad. at the University of Michigan. However, that is not a great comparison. I was aiming for a four-point gpa at a sometimes costly high level university. Of course it was going to be difficult. Of course, I ended up teaching at a school with staff who had earned degrees at local colleges, Christian colleges, etc. I feel that the online classes are on par with a lot of bricks and mortar schools out there. Also, alternative credits generally come in as pass/fail. Lots of bricks and mortar schools have pass/fail options. But it means that online degrees approximate C level achievement at mid to lower level bricks and mortar institutions. That is good enough for most jobs in America.

Of course, there are also high level online providers like Harvard Extension, MITx and others.

We live in a great world.
University of Michigan, 1997, BA Ed.; Teaching Cert.: English/Social Sciences
Marygrove College, 2003, MAT
TESU, 2018, BSBA: Accounting/CIS; ASNSM: Math/Comp. Sci.; Certs: Finance, Org. Lead., Ops. Man., Marketing
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2018, Grad. Cert.: Economics Ed.; 18 Grad. Credits - Economics
Harvard University Extension, 2019, Complete: Poetry in America Series; 20 Grad. Credits - English
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#3
I saw a great Greek philosophy course on Sophia. If it fits in my plan i def would like to do these course.
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#4
(07-26-2019, 10:04 AM)SweetsugarNL Wrote: I saw a great Greek philosophy course on Sophia. If it fits in my plan i def would like to do these course.
I took it, and it's a little tough for me to gauge the difficulty because I'm a Greek philosophy nerd, but the way it was set up made it seem pretty easy. It's also cheaper than their other courses, and if you use the code PHOENIX HALF you can get it for $75
Link to all credits earned: Link
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#5
Thank you. I go every year one/two times to Greece Smile.
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#6
(07-26-2019, 09:56 AM)eriehiker Wrote: There are as many classes out there now as there are stars in the night sky.  Some are easy and take a day.  Some take weeks, months and even years.

The free Sophia classes are easy.  Sophia also has what many on this site believe to be the most user-friendly course interface.  It is really well-done.  That's why they give a few credits away for free.  People take those classes, fall in love and then pay Sophia's higher price.

I just finished the art history classes at Sophia and they take some thought.  Sophia's niche is to provide introductory courses in a game-style, spoon-fed interface.  Study.com and straighterline are meat and potatoes providers.  They have the core classes that people here need to complete the bulk of a degree.  They have harder classes and more clunky interfaces.

There are also incredibly difficult alternative classes.  I took the now defunct edX differential equations classes and I pulled all-nighters and had to beg the teaching assistant for a chance to earn an extra tenth of a percent.

This kind of degree is really a lot of fun and it frequently requires problem-solving capabilities.  I think that is a great feature of alternative degrees.

Also, I wouldn't worry too much about whether courses are at an appropriate academic level.

It is certainly true that these online courses are not equal in difficulty to classes I took during my initial undergrad. at the University of Michigan.  However, that is not a great comparison.  I was aiming for a four-point gpa at a sometimes costly high level university.  Of course it was going to be difficult.  Of course, I ended up teaching at a school with staff who had earned degrees at local colleges, Christian colleges, etc.  I feel that the online classes are on par with a lot of bricks and mortar schools out there.  Also, alternative credits generally come in as pass/fail.  Lots of bricks and mortar schools have pass/fail options.  But it means that online degrees approximate C level achievement at mid to lower level bricks and mortar institutions.  That is good enough for most jobs in America.

Of course, there are also high level online providers like Harvard Extension, MITx and others.

We live in a great world.

Yeah, I’m currently going through the CSM course and I am learning far more than I ever have in a B&M setting, as the way CSM teaches is far more effective for me personally, so I am retaining this information in a way that I just never could at a traditional school.  CSM and all of these alternative methods are why I love the wealth of knowledge via ease of access on the Internet.  If only colleges made a huge effort to teach in different ways, people like me would enjoy B&M.
Sophia (3): Student Succ., Dev. Effective Teams, Managing Conflict 
Institutes (3): Ethics
TEEX (21): CS 101/201/301, Basic Property, Death Investigation, Fingerprint Comp. 
CSM (3): Quant 
CLEP (12): College Comp, Analyzing Lit. 
SL (21): Western Civ. I/II, Cultural Anthro, American Gov, Religion, US History II, Organizational Behavior
InstantCert (6 -- Pending Acceptance): Astronomy, Environmental Science
Study (3): Pres Skills, History of Vietnam War (Pending), I/O Psychology (Started)

Credits Accepted: 64/120
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#7
(07-26-2019, 09:56 AM)eriehiker Wrote: The free Sophia classes are easy. 

It is certainly true that these online courses are not equal in difficulty to classes I took during my initial undergrad. at the University of Michigan... but it means that online degrees approximate C level achievement at mid to lower level bricks and mortar institutions.  That is good enough for most jobs in America.

Very much agree with these two points. Sophia's free 1-credit courses are likely the easiest you will find out of the no-cost options. They are not representative of other alternative credit options, as they are simply multiple choice assessments. They get you credits, though, and that's always welcomed.

Also, I'd agree that online B.S. degrees are very roughly what you'd call a C-average. On the other hand, the motivation of a lot of online students skews toward simply wanting to accelerate through a program as quickly as possible to pick up that degree. There's nothing wrong with this (or else it wouldn't be an option at all) but the inverse of this democratized ease of access to higher ed is a counter-reaction that online degrees aren't as academically rigorous because they're generally rolling- and open-admission.

That's going to be the case with any place that has admissions policies like this though; you don't see community college programs being lauded for fostering a traditional community of academically gifted students, but these institutions fill vital niches that meet the needs of non-traditional students. My own reasoned guess is that online undergrad degrees generally aren't as academically rigorous as those of most selective B&M schools, but I'd need to look for studies.

My M.S. from Walden was just something to keep me busy while living abroad. I was impressed by the clear rubrics, the need to write extensively and evaluate a variety of sources, and the emphasis on real-world applications of theory, but I also got the feeling that most of the student body is getting their hands held through the process of producing a coherent paper, which should really already be a very foundational skill for admission to any grad-level program. My undergrad B.S. required even more writing and analysis, and A's were earned by staying in the library until the 4 A.M. closing time. Even in the Walden grad-level program, studying in a placeholder field that was completely new to me, I did feel as though I could have just skated by and churned out marginally reasoned papers. Either way gets the job done.

Senior college admissions counselor in Beijing with research interest in higher ed college access. Reverts to PADI Divemaster when near a coast.

BS Anthropology | Tulane University '08 (3.90, summa cum laude
MS Early Childhood Studies: Administration, Management, & Leadership | Walden University '19 (3.90)
Certificate College Access Counseling | Rice University '19
Certificate Teachers College College Advising Program | Columbia University '19
Other TOEFL/IELTS Trainer; Alumni/Company Interviewer; National Resume Writers' Association (completed coursework!)
Goals: A) 2nd MS in Higher Ed; B) 51/195 Countries; C) Find good hamburger in Beijing (accomplished June '19!)

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