Wednesday, July 29, 2009

EDU 542, The Class that God Forgot

I'm in the final stretch of my graduate school experience, with classes ending on Thursday and then only student teaching (and taking the Praxis...which I should sign up for) standing between me and that Master's Degree. Has it been hard to get this far? Hell yes. Have these last few days been the hardest of all? Hell yes.

Why? Oh, I'll tell you why. Because of a pain in my ass known as "EDU 542: Classroom Applications of Technology" aka The Class that God Forgot. Every time I've turned around, I've stumbled across more things I have to do for this class. It's been one non-stop, seemingly endless shit-storm brought into my home via laptop.

Every class requires some discussion board posting, which is fairly standard for an online class and I'm not [necessarily] complaining about that. But in this class you'd have to make your initial post, then respond to your classmates' posts for a minimum of three additional days, not to mention all sorts of other stuff.

I think at this point I should make it clear that I don't particularly want to hate on the professor of the class, because he seems like a nice how do I know he doesn't read my blog, too? If that is the case: No hard feelings, dude. Or maybe don't read this entry. Or at the very least, don't underestimate how much I hated class.

*Before I continue bitching about this class (and I will) I should say that thanks to our lesson on blogging I gained some more followers by creating a nearly identical version of this blog for class and posting a link to the real deal for any interested classmates. And if any of you classmates are reading, when you get to my course evaluation you're going to see me mention something about not always being interested in reading every single thing people in the class posted--lemme tell you why you shouldn't get mad:
1) You know you weren't always interested in everyone's posts either (including mine)
B) I'm probably not even talking about you...I'm probably talking about some lame person in class who doesn't read my blog.
Thirdly) Can't we just blame the real culprit: The class?
One of the things we had to do was write a 3-5 page paper about our end of the course reflection. If I know me like I think I know me, there's no way I have that many reflections on a course (I mean, assuming the paper should not contain profanity...and although the assignment said that the content of the paper would not be judged, I'm still betting cursing is frowned upon). Cursing or not, I had a suspicion that my readers would be interested in seeing this reflection.

I think the best term to sum up my experience in this course would be bittersweet. First of all, I should mention that I don't think I have 3 pages of reflective thoughts about any class I've ever this should be interesting. While I have learned a number of things from this course, it has required more work than every other class I've taken during graduate school. I'm a very hard-working person and am by no means a procrastinator--but even I have my limits. I'm thankful for the fact that I don't have much of a life because this class required so much time and energy. My hat goes off to my fellow classmates who managed to balance this class and a full-time job and/or raising a family. They are the real heroes.

Each assignment had a multitude of components to begin with, and then there were all these required additional posting days. I found it extremely confusing--I had to create my own chart with all the components of each assignment to ensure that I completed everything. And module 6 was a class in and of itself! All of this work in addition to writing 2 papers seemed obscene...especially when you realize this class is only worth 2 credit hours. And after I'd miraculously finished the assignments, I had to make an additional post indicating that they had been submitted. I found that repetitive (and redundant). I was under the impression that submitting the assignment was the indication that I had submitted the assignment. And then I had to do a self-evaluation, which I always hate. I always feel that I deserve the full amount of points--who doesn't feel that way? But then I feel guilty about saying I deserve an A because I'm sure that everyone says they deserve an A. And then I find myself thinking that I shouldn't feel guilty because I really do deserve that A because I'm awesome. As you can see, it's a vicious cycle.

And the postings--my God the postings! I'd be lying if I said I was particularly interested in reading the thoughts and opinions of every other person in this class. Some of them were interesting and worthwhile, but there were others that didn't spur any reaction from me. Unfortunately, I had to post something. Sometimes I would just make up a comment; I hated the fact that my name was attached to some of my comments because I didn't mean them. Most days, I would think of several comments in one day and then spread out my entries over a number of days. The downside to this style is that other people might post what I wanted to say before I did.

[The next three paragraphs were eliminated because they're about specific course topics and you might be confused. Besides, they don't include any hilarious bitching so let's just skip to the closing paragraph].

Ultimately, it doesn't matter how I feel about this course now because it's over and I've already done all the work. Any changes made to the course aren't going to benefit me, so it seems pointless to look back and analyze every aspect of it. Besides, the course is a requirement so it's not like I could opt out of it if I had wanted. Just as I suspected, my reflection isn't 3 pages, but it's only worth 5 points. and I don't have any more thoughts on the subject. And, to be honest, I still have to complete module 6.

I would also like to mention that in Maggie's reflection she referred to the amount of work we were assigned as a violation of the 8th Ammendment, specifically cruel and unusual punishment.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout-out E!!!!! I enjoyed your post. I think i might just drink a 5th of Tequila tonight.

Anonymous said...

If it is any consolation, I am also taking an online course that requires me to post two times four days a week. They need to be "substantial posts" in order to be counted "present" in class. It is kind of funny how the University of Pheonix is a predominately online class, yet they are by far more confusing and unorganized than that online class that I took at CCU, which is know for being unorganized.

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