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Pet peeves on use of terminology
#11
(09-14-2021, 09:05 PM)Pats20 Wrote:
(09-14-2021, 01:58 PM)sanantone Wrote:
(09-14-2021, 11:13 AM)Alpha Wrote:
(09-14-2021, 03:29 AM)sanantone Wrote:
(09-13-2021, 08:36 PM)Alpha Wrote: I do too.  Perhaps that would be something for the accreditors to attend to but regardless of that, it's always good to read the glossary.

That's if a glossary of academic terms exists, which it oftentimes doesn't. When it does exist, they're usually not going to define "go at your own pace."

Yes, I wasn't speaking literally.  I meant that one should know the definitions of the terms as they are being used.  As you know, sometimes you have to dig a bit in order to develop that understanding.  As for the whole "go at your own pace" idea, my experience has been that "self-paced" typically mean "accelerated."  As someone who has sometimes wanted to slow things down I would say that's a misnomer.
Yeah, it means speed up or slow down. At Merrimack, they believe that the ability to take more or fewer credits makes their program special. You have to ask the program director to take more than the maximum credit limit, which is something that's already done at traditional colleges.

I don’t know anything about this college but I would say they probably “believe “ what makes them special is their student satisfaction. With a 75% graduation rate and a retention of 85% puts them in pretty good company.

Uh. I don't know what this has to do with what I said. I referred to their program -- as in their online "competency-based" master's programs. High undergraduate graduation rate or not, the fairly new graduate programs they call innovative (their word) are not much different in design from other online programs. Someone who is looking for a program in which they can take a break for a few weeks and not get zeroes or points taken off or someone who wants to complete a course in a month and be able to immediately take another could mistaken their uses of "competency-based" "move at your own pace" as meaning these are self-paced programs. 

There's not enough collected data for most of their graduate programs to determine anything really. There have been three graduates of their master's in computer science and two graduates of their master's in information sciences programs according to what the College Scorecard has now. The graduate engineering program has had 11 graduates. The accounting program has had 18 graduates. Whatever program they have that falls under management sciences and quantitative methods has had zero graduates.

They only offer one bachelor's degree online, which is also fairly new, so their graduation and retention rates almost entirely come from ground programs.
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#12
(09-13-2021, 05:44 PM)LevelUP Wrote: Capella Flexpath said they have a competency-based program, but it doesn't work like WGU.

First of all, based on reports here and elsewhere, it is more a bait and switch scheme where you apply to their competency-based program, and they will tell you 90%+ of the time you don't qualify for that program. They must pay thousands of dollars for their regular program before they even consider you for their competency-based program.

Second each course, there are like 5 milestones, and for each milestone, you have to do one at a time and then wait for it to be graded, which can take 5 days for each grade—no way to quickly accelerate through the program.

College is a game of cat and mouse.

People need to do their research and quickly get through college before they change the rules of the game.
A designer of a CBE doctorate at another college said something similar about their programs not really being CBE. He said Flexpath isn't similar to WGU; he used to work for WGU.
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#13
(09-13-2021, 02:28 PM)sanantone Wrote: I've long learned that when a school says that a program is competency-based, it doesn't always mean that it's similar to WGU. It could mean that the program has a list of competencies they expect graduates to have mastered by the end of the program. I still get annoyed when schools say that students can work at their own pace when they really mean the courses are asynchronous. There are still deadlines for tests and assignments. Merrimack College's website states that their online programs are competency-based, students can work at their own pace, and that students can progress faster through concepts they already know. So, I'm thinking this is more of a self-paced program in which you can master a course and move on to another; tuition is just charged by the credit hour instead of a flat rate. 

I talked to a representative, and this is just a typical online program. There are 8-week terms, assignments have deadlines, what they mean by competency-based is that the courses are project-based instead of textbook-based or lecture-based, and the only way to move through the program faster is to take more credits per term. He also said that students can complete assignments whenever they want as long as they get them in by the deadline. That's the way it is in almost every online program. Even when I was taking doctoral courses on campus, I was working on assignments morning, afternoon, and night. 

I wish there was more standardization in terminology. Just because a student doesn't have to attend class at a certain time doesn't mean they can complete the course at their own pace. Having weekly deadlines is no different from how courses work in traditional programs. The term "competency-based" should be reserved for programs like the ones at WGU, Walden Tempo, UMPI YourPace, Capella Flexpath, NAU Personalized Learning, UMass Global MyPath, Purdue Global ExcelTrack, Rasmussen Empowered Learning, University of Wisconsin Flexible Option, etc.
The problem is that universities are interchanging flexible and competency based and both terms do not mean the same thing. For example at my place of work, we have an interdepartmental degree, where you can transfer in 90 credits and my colleagues feel that this degree is flexible and competency because the program accepts ACE credit and other alternative means of credit.

 But the remaining 30 credits must be taken at the university and those credits are 8 week to 16 week courses and are not competency based. When I inquired about changing the marketing of the program as we have had a few students question the competency terminology in marketing, I was told marketing would not change as it is increasing interest in the program.
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#14
(09-16-2021, 09:43 PM)sacredrain Wrote:
(09-13-2021, 02:28 PM)sanantone Wrote: I've long learned that when a school says that a program is competency-based, it doesn't always mean that it's similar to WGU. It could mean that the program has a list of competencies they expect graduates to have mastered by the end of the program. I still get annoyed when schools say that students can work at their own pace when they really mean the courses are asynchronous. There are still deadlines for tests and assignments. Merrimack College's website states that their online programs are competency-based, students can work at their own pace, and that students can progress faster through concepts they already know. So, I'm thinking this is more of a self-paced program in which you can master a course and move on to another; tuition is just charged by the credit hour instead of a flat rate. 

I talked to a representative, and this is just a typical online program. There are 8-week terms, assignments have deadlines, what they mean by competency-based is that the courses are project-based instead of textbook-based or lecture-based, and the only way to move through the program faster is to take more credits per term. He also said that students can complete assignments whenever they want as long as they get them in by the deadline. That's the way it is in almost every online program. Even when I was taking doctoral courses on campus, I was working on assignments morning, afternoon, and night. 

I wish there was more standardization in terminology. Just because a student doesn't have to attend class at a certain time doesn't mean they can complete the course at their own pace. Having weekly deadlines is no different from how courses work in traditional programs. The term "competency-based" should be reserved for programs like the ones at WGU, Walden Tempo, UMPI YourPace, Capella Flexpath, NAU Personalized Learning, UMass Global MyPath, Purdue Global ExcelTrack, Rasmussen Empowered Learning, University of Wisconsin Flexible Option, etc.
The problem is that universities are interchanging flexible and competency based and both terms do not mean the same thing. For example at my place of work, we have an interdepartmental degree, where you can transfer in 90 credits and my colleagues feel that this degree is flexible and competency because the program accepts ACE credit and other alternative means of credit.

 But the remaining 30 credits must be taken at the university and those credits are 8 week to 16 week courses and are not competency based. When I inquired about changing the marketing of the program as we have had a few students question the competency terminology in marketing, I was told marketing would not change as it is increasing interest in the program.

That's a shame. At best, they're wasting people's time because they have to call or email to find out the truth. At worst, students will enroll trusting that it's a CBE program. Some schools won't refund 100% of the tuition after the first day of class.
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#15
(09-17-2021, 03:43 PM)sanantone Wrote:
(09-16-2021, 09:43 PM)sacredrain Wrote:
(09-13-2021, 02:28 PM)sanantone Wrote: I've long learned that when a school says that a program is competency-based, it doesn't always mean that it's similar to WGU. It could mean that the program has a list of competencies they expect graduates to have mastered by the end of the program. I still get annoyed when schools say that students can work at their own pace when they really mean the courses are asynchronous. There are still deadlines for tests and assignments. Merrimack College's website states that their online programs are competency-based, students can work at their own pace, and that students can progress faster through concepts they already know. So, I'm thinking this is more of a self-paced program in which you can master a course and move on to another; tuition is just charged by the credit hour instead of a flat rate. 

I talked to a representative, and this is just a typical online program. There are 8-week terms, assignments have deadlines, what they mean by competency-based is that the courses are project-based instead of textbook-based or lecture-based, and the only way to move through the program faster is to take more credits per term. He also said that students can complete assignments whenever they want as long as they get them in by the deadline. That's the way it is in almost every online program. Even when I was taking doctoral courses on campus, I was working on assignments morning, afternoon, and night. 

I wish there was more standardization in terminology. Just because a student doesn't have to attend class at a certain time doesn't mean they can complete the course at their own pace. Having weekly deadlines is no different from how courses work in traditional programs. The term "competency-based" should be reserved for programs like the ones at WGU, Walden Tempo, UMPI YourPace, Capella Flexpath, NAU Personalized Learning, UMass Global MyPath, Purdue Global ExcelTrack, Rasmussen Empowered Learning, University of Wisconsin Flexible Option, etc.
The problem is that universities are interchanging flexible and competency based and both terms do not mean the same thing. For example at my place of work, we have an interdepartmental degree, where you can transfer in 90 credits and my colleagues feel that this degree is flexible and competency because the program accepts ACE credit and other alternative means of credit.

 But the remaining 30 credits must be taken at the university and those credits are 8 week to 16 week courses and are not competency based. When I inquired about changing the marketing of the program as we have had a few students question the competency terminology in marketing, I was told marketing would not change as it is increasing interest in the program.

...Some schools won't refund 100% of the tuition after the first day of class.
Once upon a time this was standard practice everywhere.  The percentage of your refund would drop to zero about 2 weeks into the semester.
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#16
"We marketed our product/service as free. When customers/clients questioned why it cost money despite its 'free' marketing, I suggested changing the marketing. I was told marketing wouldn't change it as it is increasing interest in our product/service."
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