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The official guide to courses by Straighterline, Study, et al: We want YOUR input!
#1
I think it would be a good idea to have an individual course review thread.... one long running thread where people review courses from (but not limited to) the sources listed in the title of this sub forum.


Here's a template you can copy and paste

Provider:
Course:
Course content: How is the material presented? Videos? Text? External content? Do you have to buy/have other materials?
Final exam format: How many questions? Multiple choice? Essay? Both? Something else?
Final exam content vs course content/practice exams: Have you seen the information before in the course, or was it a total curve ball?
Time taken on course: Hours? Weeks? Days?
Familiarity with subject before course: Never heard of it before taking the course, Low, medium, high, I do this every day. How would you have scored on the final with no preparation?
Pitfalls, high points, things others should know:
1-10 Difficulty level: From learning the colors to rocket surgery
[-] The following 6 users Like aviator guy's post:
  • ed209uardo, GoodYellowDogs, indivinefavor, ISKBizz15, rachel83az, Sapientes
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#2
I'll start us off:

Provider: Study.com
Course: Intro to Sociology
Course content: 116 module segments with a video/text plus a 5 question multiple choice quiz on each segment. All quizzes must have 4/5 correct answers in order to take the final. Grade needed to pass the final is determined by performance on quizzes. Quizzes may be re-taken. Non-compulsory flash cards are available, as well as practice exams. Larger (25-30 quesiton) practice tests on individual topics are available, as well as a practice final exam.
Final exam format: Proctored final exam is 100 multiple choice questions (vs 50 on practice final)
Final exam content vs course content/practice exams: Very close, many questions will have been seen before. There are some instances where the questions are mirrored from those in the quizzes/practice tests (e.g. What is NOT an example of X/What IS an example of x)
Time taken on course: Approximately 10 hours over the course of one week.
Familiarity with subject before course: Low-Medium. Some material is almost common knowledge/common sense, some is not. Would have probably scored 30-40 on the final without preparation.
Pitfalls, high points, things others should know: You are expected to learn about various sociologists through the years, and about the theories they have developed. The area of my brain that can potentially receive this information is full.
1-10 Difficulty level: 4
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  • MooSaysCow, studiousimp
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#3
Provider: Saylor
Course: Bus203 Principles of Marketing
Course content: 7 units, each with an optional practice quiz. Units contain various documents that you have to read yourself. Practice quizzes are 10-15 questions and can be taken as often as you like, but it is the same group of questions every time. A practice final is available, although Saylor doesn't call it a "practice" final - it is a non-proctored final for a "certificate" and can be taken only once every 7 days.
Final exam format: 50 multiple choice questions.
Final exam content vs course content/practice exams: Close, probably 60% stuff you have seen before, 40% new questions
Time taken on course: Approximately 6 hours over a weekend.
Familiarity with subject before course: Medium. A lot of common sense stuff, at least in my opinion.
Pitfalls, high points, things others should know: A fairly big focus on vocabulary/acronyms. One would be wise to make sure these terms are known.
1-10 Difficulty level: 4
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#4
Provider: Sophia
Course: Developing effective teams
Course content: Three modules, with quizzes. Various long explanations area available.
Final exam format: 15 questions. Not proctored.
Final exam content vs course content/practice exams: Format of the questions is the same but the verbiage and potential answers are not.
Time taken on course: One evening.
Familiarity with subject before course: Medium.
Pitfalls, high points, things others should know: None, this is a pretty simple course. Only one credit.
1-10 Difficulty level: 2
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#5
I think this is a good idea, however, maybe there should be separate threads for each provider. Otherwise, this thread could get up to 10-15 pages and you'd need to search through all of that just to find a review for the course you want from the provider you want.
[-] The following 1 user Likes ndelco's post:
  • SuperTal
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#6
ndelcollo Wrote:I think this is a good idea, however, maybe there should be separate threads for each provider. Otherwise, this thread could get up to 10-15 pages and you'd need to search through all of that just to find a review for the course you want from the provider you want.

Well, I was assuming most would find what they are looking for via search. My fear is that by breaking it down, the thread(s) may not get as much exposure, one off options that become available may not be mentioned, and less popular threads may fall into the archives meaning people might not add new. My main reason for posting this is that in my searches for information regarding various course options, I invariably come across a thread with someone asking a question about a specific course and a couple of replies answering only the question asked by the OP.

By keeping one big thread, it sort of stays toward the top, gets more views and (hopefully) more contributions.

Another option could be that I (or anyone else) could copy/paste posts into a PDF, or post them on the unofficial wiki. This way, people could simply use the thread as a place to contribute their experiences, and have a more organized way to view the information.


I'll let it ride as is and see what happens... need some other contributions first!
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#7
Bumping to the top... someone has to have some input here...
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#8
I dunno, I guess I'll be the contrarian. I think this sort of a "throw it all in" review thread just isn't that useful. Courses change, requirements change, accreditation changes, and it's confusing enough already, trying to weed through individual program requirements. I've done a review (and I'll be posting more, when I either have a minute or they add hours to the day) of my specific program/course stuff in a thread about that program. I think it would be repetitive and ultimately a poor use of time to add it to this one...further, they keep modifying courses/options/graded assignments...and I don't want people to see an isolated description of a class that winds up being a poor representation of what it became later on. (See also, the wiki at this site...a lot is outdated. But things keep changing quickly, so the community choose to invest time into shorter-lived, specific threads.) And my degree classes are basically niche offerings, with little general interest, so it's easier to just keep one thread running along. I think a super-long tangle of gen ed classes, mixed with AOS classes, and in no particular order, is just going to burn up the limited time folks have...they're going to be much more likely to post, "Hey, what meets TESU's Info Literacy requirement" or "Should I take SL or Study.com's English Comp" and read the ensuing discussion of options. True, an encyclopedic thread would yield search hits, but as I mentioned, information can change so quickly that the encyclopedic thread winds up being more confusing than helpful.

Have you thought about blogging your experiences? That might be both an informative and an inspirational project that would generate world-wide interest. There are so many people interested in doing what you're doing, following the nontraditional path. Your story and experiences provide a unique and valuable perspective to the educational community at large, from students, to providers, to faculty...might be worth considering. *tosses 2 pennies down from up here in the cheap seats*
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#9
SolarKat Wrote:I dunno, I guess I'll be the contrarian. I think this sort of a "throw it all in" review thread just isn't that useful. Courses change, requirements change, accreditation changes, and it's confusing enough already, trying to weed through individual program requirements. I've done a review (and I'll be posting more, when I either have a minute or they add hours to the day) of my specific program/course stuff in a thread about that program. I think it would be repetitive and ultimately a poor use of time to add it to this one...further, they keep modifying courses/options/graded assignments...and I don't want people to see an isolated description of a class that winds up being a poor representation of what it became later on. (See also, the wiki at this site...a lot is outdated. But things keep changing quickly, so the community choose to invest time into shorter-lived, specific threads.) And my degree classes are basically niche offerings, with little general interest, so it's easier to just keep one thread running along. I think a super-long tangle of gen ed classes, mixed with AOS classes, and in no particular order, is just going to burn up the limited time folks have...they're going to be much more likely to post, "Hey, what meets TESU's Info Literacy requirement" or "Should I take SL or Study.com's English Comp" and read the ensuing discussion of options. True, an encyclopedic thread would yield search hits, but as I mentioned, information can change so quickly that the encyclopedic thread winds up being more confusing than helpful.

Have you thought about blogging your experiences? That might be both an informative and an inspirational project that would generate world-wide interest. There are so many people interested in doing what you're doing, following the nontraditional path. Your story and experiences provide a unique and valuable perspective to the educational community at large, from students, to providers, to faculty...might be worth considering. *tosses 2 pennies down from up here in the cheap seats*

Good point. This is why things like Google reviews, Amazon reviews, Facebook and Yelp are so unpopular. People don't feel like reading a bunch of reviews, and besides - the product could be discontinued or revised at any time, or the restaurant could change their menu, change management or even close unexpectedly. If the internet has taught us one thing, it's that reviewing things is a complete waste of time.
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#10
aviator guy Wrote:Good point. This is why things like Google reviews, Amazon reviews, Facebook and Yelp are so unpopular. People don't feel like reading a bunch of reviews, and besides - the product could be discontinued or revised at any time, or the restaurant could change their menu, change management or even close unexpectedly. If the internet has taught us one thing, it's that reviewing things is a complete waste of time.

...that's why when you read a review for a blender, it's attached to the product page *for* the blender, not mixed in on the same page as the vacuum cleaners, the flea dips, and the self-help books. And the blender reviews are all for the same model, not about one that was replaced 2 years ago by the next model. SMH.

Don't let me bum your joy, dude. Carry on. (And just as with Yelp, etc, the presence or *lack* of responses might mean...something.)
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