As I perused some of my older blogs to ensure they are still up-to-date, I discovered an article I wrote awhile back discussing the question: are condensed progams, hybrid and online classes the answer for students in education today or even trainees in a part online/part classroom session? I suppose today I might have come to one or two different conclusions. And, my focus was a little different then. Check them both if you have time.
In that other article I talked about the results as if, all things being equal, that the students who come from hybrid or online programs would be perceived as “educated” as those who came from a traditional program. So that is one factor we’re going to consider here, but also a few others.
And, not to be considered biased, I have to ask, were the students who came from the traditional programs up to the maturity level of those who waited to go to school later and balanced work, family and studies to get a degree? I can remember teaching at one of these proprietary schools, “night schools,” or hybrid schools and discovering students so far above the rest academically, I wanted to ask them and I confess at that phase of my early college teaching career I did ask, “Why aren’t you at such and such university.” The answer usually made sense, certainly to them, and made me feel a little foolish. I don’t ask anymore.
Everyone has their reasons. By the same token, I have seen students who wandered in and out, called themselves adults who didn’t have to come to class, and simply refused to do anything they didn’t have to do to pass or hold onto their grant. They were full of excuses. Full of themselves. Full of attitude. Even in the condensed hybrid classes, which consists of only eight or fewer classroom meetings. The students read some chapters, do some a few activities, and use some kind of thread to stay connected to each other and the professor two or three times a week. At that time, the students are usually required to answer specific open-ended questions twice a week. The idea is for the students to stay involved and thinking during the week when not in class. Some students easily managed to miss two classes and be dis-enrolled from the class. Somehow I manage to make all eight classes and rarely leave the room beyond breaks to answer my cell phone. Most students are deserving, some just hard to get through to, which is why I teach in such an environment. You have to learn the way the world works somehow and the college classroom is a much better environment than on the streets.
My students are getting the idea now that it is a good idea to go to college. What makes the most sense to them? Getting the degree in the shortest amount of time. To some, unfortunately, it means a minimum of effort as well.
Again, as a professor myself, I discovered I had to work harder to ensure the students were pulling for themselves, propping them up, and encouraging them. The traditional schools don’t do that. Some say they do, but I don’t recall it happening at any of my schools. But I can tell you this: the students were ready to learn. Teaching at a school where students want to be there (and it’s not an afterthought or a move of desperation) you don’t have to over-perform, and you don’t have to feel badly if someone doesn’t do an assignment or misses class. I realize there are always exceptions to every generalization and that’s my point.
Not everyone at a traditional college or university is worth hiring anymore than someone who gets their degree online or non-traditionally. What is true is that the person who sits there actively listening, treating you and everyone around you respectively, and seems honestly interested in the company is someone who is worthy of being employed. If not by your company, by another.
Look carefully at the student/employee in front of you. Technically, I teach speech, but with it I’m also teaching or training confidence and credibility. If that person sitting in front of you seems right (comfortable and together), maybe he or she is. If Human Relations sent you his or her file, that person made the cut. See if you can’t connect with that person without knowing or caring what school or what kind of education he or she received. Is that really important to the job? Try it at least once. I promise you, there’s always a gem.
How can I say this? I know in my classes my standards remain high and I work hard with my students to meet them. They don’t all make “A”s and “B”s, but they know where they stand and what they need to do. Sometimes the challenge is so great they all get the grades they want and deserve. I like that.
We are all so busy these days and the entire world so electronic it makes sense for schools to change with it. Libraries are loaning electronic books. Schools are assigning students books that the students can buy less expensively as an e-book. Yes, there’s an app for that. For that matter, I can’t think of any traditional college or university, state or private, that doesn’t offer evening classes, condensed or hybrid or online classes. Our students are changing before our eyes. For the trainers among us the same could be said of our younger trainees; they come from a different place–it’s still Earth, but more electronic than we remember.
Happy Training…and Teaching
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For a look at the human side of training from my Cave Man perspective, please check out my book, The Cave Man Guide to Training and Development. Happy training.
– See more at: https://management.org/blogs/training-and-development/2011/05/18/using-the-turn-over-training-guide/#sthash.uParCHgr.dpuf