April 5, 2006

No Joy In It

I've just finished up the least proficient class I've ever taught at University of Phoenix. Their level of comprehension of the subject matter was astonishingly low. Remarks from their final papers included: "Business firms must be aware of liability such as respondent superior such as: vicarious liability" and "One of the ways deterrence can happen is through preventitive measures."

What's astonishing is that five of these students were really quite bright. I have no doubt that due to the "team learning" model UoP requires me to use, seven of my students did not fail when they otherwise would have, thanks to the efforts of their classmates. The five good students could easily have aced the class; as it is, they got A- and B+ grades. I say this because I give my students objective tests each week and the class average was 67.8% correct, or a D+. The five good students averaged 85.2% correct on the tests (B), the remaining twelve average 59.7% correct (F).

It's immensely frustrating to see good students held back by poor ones, and there's no joy in seeing students simply do nothing and expect to be given a good grade. I don't like failing students one bit but that's what I have to do sometimes. It shouldn't be so hard for students to pass an online class, but every time either the administration or I do something to make it easier on the students, their performance seems to decrease to even lower depths.

I guess I'm just doing it for the money, and the break that The Wife gets on her tuition. Once she graduates, I doubt if I'll continue to bash my head against the wall like this any longer.

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