Monday, August 20, 2012

Why Clifford Orwin Needs a COSTFU

You're right Clifford.  There is no online substitute for a university, in person class.  Where else can young, impoverished colleges students blow thousands of dollars to pay a washed up professor with no real world experience, nor desire to obtain any, blather on about their little realm of irrelevant academia that does nothing to better the outside world?  You're right, online classes can come nowhere near screwing over endebted college students like that.

My how the horse and buggy manufacturers are desperately fighting against Henry Ford.

The reader who sent this to me asked me to guess his degree.  I didn't bother.  I'm betting not electrical engineering

Oh, and buy Worthless.  You can click on any of the links to the right or left.


Anonymous said...

LOL Cap! His degree is in "Political Science."

Perhaps for certain things not easily formalized -- ie. physical skills such as dance, athletics, or manual use of a complex tool -- some hands on instruction is needed. But vast areas of science and technology do not need to be taught via the classical institution of "higher learning."

This isn't some uninformed idea. Roger Schank -- an expert in Linguistics and AI, has been harping on the uselessness of traditional education for awhile:

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

I was talking to a young lady this past weekend who is still in high school. She told me that she was starting to take CLEP tests. I agreed that taking the tests was a really good idea and that she should look into taking DANTES/DSST tests as well. I also told her that I thought the traditional four year degree was a sucker's deal and going through other avenues (such as CLEP and DANTES) was a much better idea.

The down side was I really upset an older woman who has a son in college. SHe kept claiming there were so many possibilities that there was no such thing as a "traditional" four year degree. Massive rationalization.

Eric S. Mueller said...

When I finished up my Bachelor's degree, I took a hybrid classroom/online program. We met for the first and last sessions in the classroom, but everything else was done online. I thought it was a great program.

It's great how the political science "professor" who wrote that article can rationalize that distance learning works great in a lot of cases yet write it off as "something is better than nothing".

Yes, where else can you spend tens of thousands of dollars only to be told, upon graduation, "Forget everything you learned in college. This is the real world". Oh, yeah, that's such a worthwhile investment. It's all about the experience I guess.

Cogitans Iuvenis said...

The other facet of the move towards online education is that hands on instruction by true experts who can teach the subject well will still continue to garner a premium. The move towards online education could very well free talented instructors, who simply cannot or will not play campus politics, away from the shackles that the tenur system offers.

Dan said...

There are a lot of skills that can be learned online or self taught...and quite a few that cannot. In addition there are a lot of degrees that people acquire that make them seem like a good candidate for a job but in the real world they are worse than useless....they are a massive roadblock. One I have personal experience with is the "healthcare administration" degree. It's possible to get a degree in this "ahem" specialty online without ever having set foot in a class room OR a hospital/clinic. Upon recieving said magical sheepskin it's now possible for the glib and self deluded to con a
deluded and useless HR moron into giving them a job managing a department in a hospital....or perhaps even being a VP or director in such a facility. All without knowing jackshit about medicine, patients or anything else remotely related to the reality's of providing care to living breathing mounds of tissue.

Thus those who can end up having to do so much more to undo the bullshit caused by those who cannot but were given a job based on a piece of paper.

Anonymous said...

I spent the last years of my career teaching cartography and image interpretation at Defense Mapping School - not a professor, no, but an instructor who learned hands-on and ended up teaching what I'd learned, and helping devise online training for some of it.

There are things that can be taught effectively online, or even learned on your own. Some of these are taught in ivied halls by tenured members of the professor class, who have a vested interest in ensuring a student is not 'qualified' unless he spends his money to sit in the classroom and listen to The Professor expound on what he deems 'important'.

There are other things in which you really need to get your hands dirty to learn to do the job. Most of these are technical subjects, or subjects where a failure to do the job correctly could lead to something or someone getting really damaged. And, of course, there are the subjects that simply have to be taught to a group at a time (Anonymous 11:45 AM mentioned dance, and it's a good example).

Professor Puffenstuff can expound all he wants on the importance of the teacher, physically present, in a lecture hall full of students who pay a lot to be there. But he fails to inform - far more depends on the STUDENT. You might do better and learn more with a DVD set from 'The Great Courses' than with the blah-blah-blah of a Professor Puffenstuff.

As always, your mileage may vary.