Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Does Higher Education REALLY Need "Ready Made" Online Courses?


Over the past few weeks, I have been reading a few articles on "boxed" or "ready made" online courses that professors have to import into blackboard or another learning management system (LMS) as their course for the semester. Of course the professor has to change the dates and make a few changes to the overall course, but they have a "ready made" course. 

Similar to the Easy Bake Oven of the 80s (yes, I am showing my age), these online courses just involve adding water (uploading the course to the LMS), mixing the ingredients (changing the dates and other small details), and baking for a few minutes under a hot bulb (adding students to the course).

I do not understand WHAT is so difficult about creating an online course via a course management system. I have created EACH of my courses from scratch and I have CHANGE the course every semester. I do not like enjoying the same cake every semester, because there are always new ingredients and recipes that emerge every semester. Plus, I look at my cake reviewers' comments (the students' evaluations) and I delete or add certain aspects of the online course.

This "ready made" course is so lucrative that some companies are requiring universities to charge students a special fee from their company (in addition to the distance learning fee). I believe in saving my students money and this is NOT helping the cause.


J. Edwards

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.
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