Reply to 2 post, in responding to classmates, discussion: the

  

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Discussion Topic –  

In this module, you have explored a variety of texts that focus on globalization’s consequences. In thinking about personal involvement with social networking (even without Twitter, Facebook, or other tools, this course lands you squarely in the category of social networking), consider the online classroom as a social space of learning (which it is).

What are some of the more significant differences in the learning/classroom experience in an online environment versus a face-to-face one? Make broad use of the course material for this week as well as your own examples.

In your responses to classmates, discuss positive and negative aspects of the features they mentioned in regard to both online classroom environments and face-to-face classroom environments.

Reply Post 1 –  

IDS-401 Global Society

3-1 Discussion: The Consequences of Great Ideas

~What are some of the more significant differences in the learning/classroom experience in an online environment versus a face-to-face one? ~

            I was intrigued to see this week’s discussion topic and couldn’t agree more that it fits in perfectly with what this course focuses on and attempts to present, in a scholastic manner that which globalization is, how it is affecting and changing our lives, and how it relates to, and fits in with, the term “McDonaldization”. The primary textbook we are using in fact is titled “The McDonaldization of Society” so it’s fairly evident that the reference is related to global society and globalization. That said, education, and the way it has evolved with the advent of the internet, “connectivity”, and the way it has gone through its very own version of McDonaldization, is incredible. To be honest, I have actually thought about this very subject and the nature of this discussion from my own perspective for a while, and certainly since I’ve been enrolled as an online University student. This is why I’m surprised that I haven’t read much from others, seen in resources thus far, or thought about this aspect in this course, that which deals directly with the phenomenon, much at all. Why? Because education is a large part of life, America is perhaps the premier education capital of the world, meaning most people who want serious, quality education come to American Universities, although not in all cases by any means, and it is an area of our lives that is affected by globalization, social media, and “The McDonaldization of Society”, in profound ways in my opinion.

            Let’s take a hypothetical time-machine back say, a mere twenty years, relatively speaking, not long at all, in the big scheme of things, barely the blink of an eye, and look at the state of higher education. The options that were available to an individual consisted of going in resident to a university or college, and live and study there while pursuing your degree, or you could perhaps take a half schedule, work a job, but still live and go to school I that area. For students who didn’t or weren’t able to take that traditional route due to going to work from high school then coming back later in life while they then have a family and other priorities that don’t necessarily allow that person to be able to do the traditional route and be successful, or that don’t have access to the universities and colleges themselves due to issues like distance, cost of living, or one of a long list of obstacles that can be in someone’s path to pursue education if they didn’t have the perfect opportunity at the right time to take advantage of higher education. Essentially, for many people, if you missed the boat directly from high school for whatever reason, other obligations, family, financial, and on and on, then sadly your chances of going back and getting doing went down astronomically. There was night school offered by some colleges and universities, but not all, and maybe not in your area, and even then you had to be at your class by whatever time it required each night, after working all day, and many of those students with families, so that made that commitment s grueling one for many, although plenty did it and persevered to their credit.

            Now let’s contrast that with what we have managed to create in just a mere twenty years, and this is literally just the beginning, we are only just getting started; education may look unrecognizable in another twenty years from where we are today; it is genuinely possible. Today we have broken down many barriers that have stood in the way of those wanting to pursue their education, and made education more accessible. Some really incredible things have been made possible by this newfound ability we as a global society have created and are now watching as it transforms everything we knew before in countless ways. A few colleges embraced the internet, and online teaching and degrees, before any of the more well-known ones, and for a while, being completely honest here, they were seen as “lesser than”, or “cheap substitutes” to the “real” universities and colleges. I can’t help of think of Devry University and Phoenix College as the poster boys of what I am describing here. Then some time went on and bigger universities began to realize the potential, not just for their financial gain, but just as I was mentioning, a way to increase accessibility for students. The problem with this, and it has been the elephant in the room since the dawn of this new way of educating, is how to deliver a quality product, in this case education, without the traditional “classroom” and social structure and support that other physical students and professors provide. Along comes the internet and all of a sudden, the McDonaldization of Universities could be accomplished; McUniversities! 

             Our text mentions a new term that is used for contemporary universities that isn’t very flattering and references that which I will discuss, and that is the “McUniversity”. When I hear the term “McUniversity”, I think of the same thing when I hear “McUniversity” that I think of when I think of what are described as “McMansions”. In our capitalistic society we have strived to give everyone what they want a price that they can afford, and in theory this is good idea. As we progressed though, we started looking at innovative ways we could give those who had lesser resources access to the things those with a lot of resources could have and enjoy. In some cases this led to some really great ideas, inventions, and new ways of doing things to make this happen. The problem though is when you begin to simply focus on the quantity rather than the quality. “For a long time, the most visible symbols of this emphasis were the large signs, usually beneath the even larger golden arches, touting the millions and, later, billions of hamburgers sold by McDonalds. This was a rather heavy handed way of letting everyone know about McDonald’s great success. The mounting number of hamburgers sold not only indicated to potential customers that the chain was successful but also fostered the notion that the high quality of the burgers accounted for the immense sales. Hence, quantity appeared to equal quality”(Ritzer, 2015). As most of us know however, this is not the case, and in fact, focusing on quantity over quality early always results in some degree of quality degradation, That isn’t to say that it can’t be done or that it hasn’t been done, only that the likelihood is greater; much greater. There are some “McMansions” out there that are honestly, fabulous, and they are providing a really great service by allowing those who wouldn’t be able to have a large glamorous house, that are still very expensive, but not the multi-millions it had always taken before. And there are some great “McUniversities” which are efficiently and effectively educating students on a high quantity rate, but maintaining the quality that is necessary to make that education worth anything. Much of what makes the ones that do work do so, in my opinion, is in their business model, the ownership and management team behind the operation, and finally, and very important, is the quality of those teaching, the faculty. The schools that try to save money, cut corners, do the least amount required in order to get a check, (there are plenty of them around by the way) they are doing a great disservice to their students. The ones that are pioneers in this field however, and are doing it right and making it work, like SNHU I really believe, they are providing a very valuable service to us students and to society in general. The more people we can get educated the better, period. However it must be done the right way, and it can’t just be a pay us this amount, log in to your laptop a few times a week, do a couple assignments and some reading when you can, and we’ll cut you a degree; “here’s your degree Sir/Ma’am; next order please!”. That isn’t doing anyone any favor

References:

Ritzer, George. (2015). Sage Publications: The McDonaldization of Society- 8thEdition. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781483358956/cfi/6/8!/4/2/[email protected]:41.5

Reply Post 2 –  

What are some of the more significant differences in the learning/classroom experience in an online environment versus a face-to-face one? Make broad use of the course material for this week as well as your own examples.

Like so many things in life, there tends to be advantages and disadvantages between an in classroom education and an online education.  To some people, the differences may not matter as much as they do to others.  In regards to online classes, the advancement of technology, has tremendously improved along the way which has enhanced online studies everywhere.  Due to much technological advancements, enrollment to online courses has risen and will probably continue to.  Nearly 6 million students were reported to be online students during the fall of 2014 (NCES, 2014). 

Some of these differences are the conveniences, the direct contact with instructors and/or classmates and cost efficiency to name a few.  It is far more convenient to go to your home computer rather than commute to a campus, find parking and walk to class.  Time is usually a factor to everyone and to simply access your home computer is far more productive.  In addition, you can choose the time you are going to focus on classwork rather than deal with a structured class schedule at school.    With online studies you don’t have the instant feedback from instructors that you would get if you stopped by their office or asked a question during class.  Online classes require students to wait for the response of the instructor based on when the question was read.  Another difference is the direct contact that some people prefer having. The interactions amongst students are quite different with online classes and you can miss out on the friendships and study buddies from traditional classroom studies.  An online education is generally less for students than the classroom experience for a couple of reasons.  The student doesn’t have to commute and pay for parking for starters.  In addition, universities that offer only online courses will have less expenses of their own and pass down the savings to students. One cost saving option that many courses offer, is to have the resources (books) to be online as well.   Online studies are the way to go if you want a degree from an out-of-state college.  Being an online student can be significantly cheaper than out-of-state tuition (Haynie, 2014).

Not only do students think about the cost of education, but so do universities.  They want to continue to keep students able to participate in receiving an education.  One option for the universities is to offer more online degrees. 

National Center for Education Statistics. (2014).  Fast Facts.  Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=80

Each reply post most be at least 2 paragraphs 

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