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Questions to Ask When Choosing an Online Graduate Program

By Judy Unrein / July 2009

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  • Fri, 02 Jul 2010
    Post by Masters degree

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  • Wed, 26 Aug 2009
    Post by Kevin Handy

    As of September of 2009 I am attending my fourth online school. I am a student of instructional design. I am enrolled at Argosy University Online's Organizational Leadership program. In 2005 I completed American Intercontinental University's online MBA program in project management. After that I tried Capella University - and left and then Walden University and now AUO. Walden University's online Teacher Leadership program is good - for teachers - but I consider myself an adult learning instructional designer and developer. Nearly all of these programs are asynchronous - and they have to be. I have been largely unimpressed with instructional design in university environments in general. I think that ID is nearly an afterthought. John Sweller's pioneering work on memory is largely ignored. The e-Learning is much-ado-about-nothing page turner stuff. The threaded discussions are often taken far too seriously. Also another disturbing trend is that many of the courses are six to eight weeks in duration. At the graduate level this is far too little time for meta-cognition. In other words a learner does not have time for it to sink in. Some schools are moving from printed texts to digital text versions. Sadly the eTextbooks are not all media rich. Again boring, uninterrupted text. Somehow once we become adults we are supposed to be proud of wanting to be bored to tears. I demur. If anything adults need learning that is more media rich to drown out the din of daily of daily life. A continuation of the traditional classroom in a digital environment is no solution. We need more creative ways of capturing the learner's attention. And threaded discussions are just so...1980's. Multimedia without good ID is useless but online learning that is nearly completely text based with a few graphics is also not useful. I think people need to read a bit of Ruth Colvin before they design e-Learning and LCMS for adult learners at the university environment. So a student...and a professional I do not see the evidence.

  • Thu, 09 Jul 2009
    Post by Darren K. Stocker

    I found this article ws able to touch many of the facets related to online/distance learning. Part of the learning process requires the steps in locating a program that is suiable to the learner as well as providing a valuable education. There is no "on-fit" program. It appears as though Ms. Unrein was able to capyure that in her writing.