This is the definitive place to discuss everything that makes life on & off campus so unique in Central Virginia.

Moderators: jcmanson, Sly Fox, BuryYourDuke

#627421
I frequent these boards a lot, and often hear that LU's online courses are 'crap' and that other institutions do them better. I know the work that goes into designing, teaching, and refining these courses, so it's pretty disheartening to hear this. If you care about LU and the success of its students, let's get specific about what's broken, and let's fix it. Let's not be casual about it - over 100,000 students and thousands of faculty and staff depend on these programs being the best they can be.
#627422
I’m hoping that whoever puts these courses together are looking at the way it’s competitors are putting out content. Are looking to see who gets the highest “User Ratings” etc from students. Then implants them.
#627425
From my experience and from what I have heard there’s a few common complaints:

1. Our online courses tend to be bare on content- there’s little as far as recorded lectures or substantive interaction with profs. They seem to be designed to need as little professor input as possible, the goal is to be able to plug-and-play any Joe Schmo as the prof and not be able to notice a difference. It’s a business model- maximize professor time and availability to teach multiple courses, standardize so there’s little to no on-boarding needed for new online profs. The result is that these courses tend to become more self-study type courses where the student is responsible for teaching himself the content.

2. Use of technology. This may have changed in the years since anyone in my family took an online class, but there always seemed to be so much more that could be done with the technology available to enrich these classes. Like I said above, no professor videos, no live interaction, just papers, tests, and...

3. Busy work. Discussion boards, I’m looking at you. The discussion board assignments have always been a joke. They’re there to take up time and to provide proof that you exist but they don’t add any value to the experience.

When LU went virtual last Spring, it became painfully apparent how low the expectations are and how little they put into the quality of the online experience for online students.

For the in-person classes that had to transition online, the profs were given so many tools to create some really enriching online learning experiences. They were able to throw together some really good stuff at a moments’ notice. None of this, to my knowledge, is done for LUO students.

IMHO it’s the mass-production business model that really drags it down. Give the profs the same leeway, support, tools, and course-load as in-person staff and it could be really good. It would still be cheaper to produce since you don’t have the overhead of maintaining a brick-and-mortar school.
#627427
First things first, you need money to make improvements. LU needs to spend more of its retained earnings from HUO on instruction, training, design, and new technologies. That will fix a lot of issues. Jr was obsessed with building the residential campus and sports rather than feeding the golden goose. I don't know what the number is today, but about 4-5 years ago the residential program was losing 5K/per student/per year so HUO money went to offset that as well.

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/jerry-fa ... ofit-garb/

Low instructional costs. In 2016, the university reported spending $2,609 on instruction per full-time equivalent students across its traditional campus and online operations. The University of Phoenix, the nation’s biggest online provider of higher education, spends more than $4,000 per student in many states. And a hybrid online-traditional nonprofit religious college such as Ohio Christian University spent about $4,500 per student. Interestingly, Liberty’s 2,300 online instructors are not responsible for any teaching—they mostly handle email communications and give grades. The courses are mostly designed and updated by a Lynchburg-based team with a starting salary of $11/hour.
#627428
My only experience was 13-years-ago so I can't speak to how things have changed since. However, this is how I took LUO classes. For reference, some classes were master's level school of education, others were seminary.

1) Discussion board - I would wait until 4-5 people had posted theirs, get the general idea of what the discussion board was about, and then write my own. No reading required.

2) Tests - I'd simply control + f through the teaching to find the answers for the tests. Again, no real studying there.

3) Papers - Papers are where I actually learned and required research and effort. I actually enjoyed this part of most of my classes and it's where most of my education came.

With no teacher interaction, it was really easy to game the system.

I don't know the solution because I'm not in that world to know what the options are.
JK37 liked this
#627435
They’ve locked down testing quite a bit, I think part of that is software upgrades. It may have been possible once upon a time to copy and paste questions into google and find entire test banks and answers online, but I’m not admitting to anything publicly :wink:
#627454
Jonathan Carone wrote: June 10th, 2021, 10:45 am My only experience was 13-years-ago so I can't speak to how things have changed since. However, this is how I took LUO classes. For reference, some classes were master's level school of education, others were seminary.

1) Discussion board - I would wait until 4-5 people had posted theirs, get the general idea of what the discussion board was about, and then write my own. No reading required.

2) Tests - I'd simply control + f through the teaching to find the answers for the tests. Again, no real studying there.

3) Papers - Papers are where I actually learned and required research and effort. I actually enjoyed this part of most of my classes and it's where most of my education came.

With no teacher interaction, it was really easy to game the system.

I don't know the solution because I'm not in that world to know what the options are.
Same here with the exception of Finance and the Capstone Course.
#627503
Teachers need to NOT simply do things the way they do it in their in-person classes when they're teaching online. For one thing, multiple choice tests don't work online. There are plenty of other ways to do assessment - use them.

My experience with LU Online was through masters classes, mainly Education classes. Maybe those teachers just knew how to change their teaching style where others don't, I don't know, but I didn't have many negative experiences. The one I did have was a teacher that didn't actually know what was in the course material, and made a final exam over things that we never covered at all. I think anyone who wants to teach an online class needs to be trained on how to do it well.
#627672
Hello LU Community,

I personally had a good experience with LUOnline while studying for my MBA. I know there have been some that have made some generalized overarching opinions, stating that LUO courses and course work wasn't challenging or stimulating, but I felt it was quite stimulating and challenging due to many different reasons. I actually felt like I learned a lot from the program due to well structured courses and course work. I feel like one of the biggest improvements they could make is to the length of their courses. I would like it extended from 8 weeks to possibly 10-12 weeks or a typical quarter system. I always felt like I had to dedicate lots of time to the work based on the accelerated time line of 8 week course. For those that are studying online due to family or work obligations, the 8 week course makes it very challenging, not beneficial to the student experience.

I graduated from LUO 13 years ago so it been a while since I reflected on the course work. Generally I thought the courses were built in a meaningful way, with good learning material, and good text books. I feel like educational results on gets is based two things, meaningful/challenging coursework, and the the effort that its put forward by the individual student. I believe professors in a online medium don't really teach you anymore in the traditional classroom sense. In my experience the professor has morphed into more of a facilitator/mentor role to provide feedback throughout the course. The mentor/facilitator role is also emulated in the traditional classroom model, but that is what I think online courses are designed. I feel like the student is doing is teaching themselves/absorbing the material, and which is the challenge in online learning. Of course this is my personal opinion, and your mileage may vary based on many different factors, which can be learning style, individual bias, personal experience, and many other factors. If I'm off in my evaluation of LUO, please forgive my ignorance.

Thank you,
LUaddict, Class of 2013
Sly Fox, LU 57, Kricket and 1 others liked this
#628105
Last year I enrolled my HS senior daughter in LUOA/LUO dual enrollment since all of her friends were doing online through Brookville/Campbell County. So my thought was to have her go online where the teachers had been doing it a while vs. classroom teachers doing it for the first time ever. Kind of like you should try and hold off on first year model cars so they can work out the kinks. Overall, it was good, especially since she was able to get her first 30 credit hours at Liberty paid for for only $6K.

Probably, the only 2 real complaints was the very limited interaction with the instructors. It would've helped her to have zoom lessons a/d/or more or some recorded video lessons. She had 1 class where she couldn't quite understand what the instructor wanted with her papers and traded way too many emails when a video presentation or meeting probably would've made it better. The second thing from the parent perspective trying to enroll her residentially, it's foolish and frustrating how Liberty and LUO don't seem to communicate as well as they should. I don't know the rationale for that, but it's annoying to say the least.

Otherwise, I've had friends take LUO classes, who've enjoyed them greatly and loved the customer service they received from LUO as well.
#628109
LUOrange wrote:Last year I enrolled my HS senior daughter in LUOA/LUO dual enrollment since all of her friends were doing online through Brookville/Campbell County. So my thought was to have her go online where the teachers had been doing it a while vs. classroom teachers doing it for the first time ever. Kind of like you should try and hold off on first year model cars so they can work out the kinks. Overall, it was good, especially since she was able to get her first 30 credit hours at Liberty paid for for only $6K.

Probably, the only 2 real complaints was the very limited interaction with the instructors. It would've helped her to have zoom lessons a/d/or more or some recorded video lessons. She had 1 class where she couldn't quite understand what the instructor wanted with her papers and traded way too many emails when a video presentation or meeting probably would've made it better. The second thing from the parent perspective trying to enroll her residentially, it's foolish and frustrating how Liberty and LUO don't seem to communicate as well as they should. I don't know the rationale for that, but it's annoying to say the least.

Otherwise, I've had friends take LUO classes, who've enjoyed them greatly and loved the customer service they received from LUO as well.
I think that's part of the issue. Personally, I learn very well in an independent setting for a majority of subjects. But learning isn't cookie cutter. LUO doesn't mix it up a lot (or at least they didn't went I went) and a lot of the activities didn't leverage modern collaboration technologies to engage the learner. The only thing I appreciated was the move toward digital and interactive texts. But again, there are a ton of learners that love physical books.

I don't feel like a lot of the material in LUO really hit upon higher level learning.

The good news is, we now have students of all ages (K-Higher Ed) who've now experienced remote learning. The great, the good, the bad, and the awful. Many of these students will build and innovate in the future based on the learning experience they had when this was thrust upon us.

Institutions that welcome innovation will thrive. Institutions that don't will get left behind.
NCAA Realignment Megathread

With our contract in hand with the Mouse, keep[…]

https://twitter.com/CoachHughFreeze/status/1419724[…]

The COVID-19 Megathread

https://twitter.com/TheBabylonBee/status/141968795[…]

Let's just assume AAC grabs UAB, marshall and[…]