Biomedical Ethics

WARNING

I am sorry that this document is not pleasant to read but it is intended for your benefit.

I have taught too many online classes and seen too many students drop out and lose time and money and damage their grade point averages to allow the class to proceed without this warning to all.

Students who complete this course do quite well. Many of those who do not complete this course state that they did not really have the time to spend on the course that was required. Students who have finished and have done well advise the instructor to inform the learners at the beginning that they should not take the amount of time needed to do well lightly.

RETENTION RATE:

Half of the students who take this class online withdraw from it or stop participating in it.

This is so because either they have the wrong idea about online classes or they are not serious and do not want to do the work or they do not put in the effort and time and do poorly and then fall behind.

Do you have the WRONG IDEA about this class? Did you take the qualifiers?

If you have never taken an online course you should take a suitability test if you have not done so already. If you have doubts about whether or not you are suited for an online course, you might want to go to the sites below and read about online courses and take the tests to determine how prepared you are to take online courses. http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/selfEval.asp

This class is NOT EASY. It is convenient and accessible 24/7 but it is NOT EASY. It involves WORK. Regular WORK. Weekly WORK. If you are not accustomed to or disciplined enough to or able to do work on a regular schedule then this is not the class for you.

So if you are not able to set up and keep a weekly WORK SCHEDULE,

PLEASE CONSIDER WITHDRAWING FROM THIS CLASS NOW.

Why?

If you do not work each week you will lose points in the discussions and in the written assignments and your grade will be very poor and you will become discouraged and then stop participating thus having wasted your time and our time.

So if you are not serious about this class

PLEASE CONSIDER WITHDRAWING FROM THIS CLASS NOW.

Why?

because only those with sufficient motivation will put in the effort and then they will do well in this class in this format. If you are not serious about doing the work that will lead to unpleasant outcomes.

In the 14 week semester the amount of work per week, each and every week, needed to do well totals 9to 12 hours.

That is right. 9 to 12 hours each week every week- no exceptions.

So if you are not serious about this class and have the 9 to 12 hours to put in every week

SUMMER SESSION is only 7 weeks and so the work DOUBLES to 18 to 24 hrs/week.

PLEASE CONSIDER WITHDRAWING FROM THIS CLASS NOW.

Why?

Because if you do not put in the time in the early modules and in all modules the result will be that the modules close each week and you will do poorly and then you will not want to continue and will work even less than you did in the early modules. The class keeps moving on! We can not go back in time to let those who fall behnind catch up. And so as the class keeps moving forward those who are doing poorly fall even further behind until they stop participating altogether.

This class is LEARNER CENTERED and not instructor centered. This means that responsibility for your learning is placed on you. I am the instructor and I am here to assist you but YOU and ONLY YOU do the work of reading and interacting with me and your classmates and the THINKING and the writing and the THINKING. As such you need to do the WORK and need to do so EACH WEEK.

So if you are not serious about this class and have the 9 to 12 hours to put in every week

SUMMER SESSION is only 7 weeks and so the work DOUBLES to 18 to 24 hrs/week.

PLEASE CONSIDER WITHDRAWING FROM THIS CLASS NOW.

Why?

Because we are going to develop a LEARNING COMMUNITY in this class and everyone in the class will be expected to participate and participate fully in interacting with the instructor and classmates in assisting them in learning and developing their understanding and critical thinking skills. The community can ill afford having people in it who will not participate fully and will not respond to others in the discussions and who will not finish the semester.

SPECIAL SUMMER WARNING

In the summer semester there are only seven weeks to cover what is normally covered in 14 weeks. As the credits are the same, the work is the same. This means that the learner needs to spend twice the normal time each week on the course materials and assignments. This means from 18 to 24 hours EACH WEEK during the summer.

If you can not devote that much time to this course you should

PLEASE CONSIDER WITHDRAWING FROM THIS CLASS NOW.

Students who complete this course do quite well. Many of those who do not complete this course state that they did not really have the time to spend on the course that was required. Students who have finished and have done well advise the instructor to inform the learners at the beginning that they should not take the amount of time needed to do well lightly.

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READ STUDENT OBSERVATIONS AND ADVICE CONCERNING PHL 211 BIOMEDICAL ETHICS ONLINE

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Subject: student abandon

I think so many have left the course, because of the work requirement and timeframe involved. I like how the course is set up because will their is a lot involved each week, I also know when it's due, and I make myself a mental schedule for the week on how to get it all in. A lot of people don't have the discipline to stick to this kind of schedule each week.

Subject: Lost Classmates

I was very intimidated at first with this class. I am so glad that I have stuck it out and will miss it when we have completed the course. I feel that those that have left thought that it was going to be easy and a blow off. Although there is a great level of dedication required, it weeded out those that are not dedicated to their learning. I think those left are dedicated and concerned about their academic learning. This class hasn't been hard, challenging yes, time consuming, Yes. But , as already stated it was on our own time and leisure. What more can you ask for. It just took a commitment. I want the most out of my education so I made the commitment and it has paid off. Besides a grade, I have learned a tremendous about of information on how to relate to life and situations.

Subject: Retention Rate

I think the majority of people take an online course so that they can "go to class" on the weekends and maybe sign on once or twice a week, complete the assigned work on their own time (at work, on the train to work, during lunch breaks, etc etc) and then submit it and get full credit. The bulk of our grade is based on online discussion and in order to get full credit, one must sign onto the course (which means the person has to be home and free of distractions) relatively often and definitely not only on the weekend. I don't think the course is THAT difficult. What I mean is, sure it's a lot of work, but the way it is set up, there's really no way to get overwhelmed. Do the work for that week and you get your points. If you fall behind or had a bad week, oh well move on to the next module. You lose points but you dont really lose touch with the class. Its not like in a math class where if you didnít learn last week's material, there's no way you'll understand what's going on now! So I think the course

is set up great, but again some people just donít have the time to actually get online during the week and get online often enough to engage in discussion. That means they will lose A LOT of points so they drop out.

Instead of warning people before they begin the course that it's going to involve a lot of work, warn them that it's not a "weekend course" or a course that you can just sign on for an hour or two a week and do the assignments away from the computer on their own time. Its a course that means having to sign on every other day or every two days, complete assignments, do readings and engage in online discussions. Maybe that will help people know what they're getting into before they even start.

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Subject: reply

I like the way you said that, but the thing I don't understand is how can people not know that you need to attend class regularly. It seems obsurd that people would think that, but it is sad and true. Imagine if you only went to class on weekends when you had classes during the week, there'd be no one there!!! I rarely get to this class on the weekend due to my schedule, so I'm not here.

Unfortunately this has been a very very hectic week for me so I'm late in responding..sorry, I'm trying to get involved in the discussion so I don't lose points, but if I do then it's my fault.

As for the drop rate I was wondering the same thing. To be honest this class is the most productive and intelligently set up class I have taken online, and I don't know why people would drop out!! If only classes at school were set up this smooth!! I think the work all together can be quite a bit overwhelming; I was overwhelmed when I first signed on and saw everything. I would like to make a suggestion. Maybe it's just me, but I would find it a little easier to take the workload if the modules were closed so we can not have access to every one from the get go. My other online classes close the future modules and open them when the module starts. I think that would help because it wouldn't give students the option to look into every one and see all the work right away, because it seems like that could scare them away. I would say it would be acceptable to opening the next module on a friday so we can have the weekend to finish the module we're in plus look ahead a little.

What do you think about closing the modules? How about the class? Would it help?

I donít think keeping the future modules closed would have any bearing personally. I myself did not look ahead because I know myself. Seeing a syllabus at the beginning of a new class gets me very nervous cause I feel like "oh man how am I going to do all this" but the way the site is set up you donít see all the course work unless you force yourself to (by opening up the modules).

I had another suggestion that I think might help. The first couple of modules I think were THE hardest and contained the most amount of work and I struggled the most with them. I remember it taking me like 4 hours just to answer the discussion questions and an additional couple of hours to answer the assignment question(s). But then the second half of the course got easier and not as overwhelming. At the beginning I thought the whole course was going to be like the first couple of modules and I honestly was considering leaving the course because of it. There was no way I could devote THAT much time to being in front of the computer every single week. Now I spend about an hour every other day or so with discussions and about an hour with the assignment and maybe two hours with the case study. For some reason it doesn't seem as bad as the beginning of this course.

Tell people that the first couple of modules are very difficult but the rest arenít as bad. That might make them tough it out for those first few weeks.

Subject: reply to carlos

I think the reason that you find it easier now then at the beginning of the course is because by now you know the basic principles behind each theory. If you were like me, the first couple of modules I was still getting all the theories confused and spent most of my time trying to look things up and get everything straight. Now I know generally how each theory would react without having to spend as much time looking things up. As to the suggestion of keeping the modules closed, I think that they should be left open. For instance, if someone's going away or know's that they are going to be busy the following week then they can look ahead when they have time and get an idea of how they want to answer/respond, etc.

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Subject: reply

Maybe it is just me, but I looked at every module and read everything the first few weeks, and it was a bit overwhelming, but I said to myself it really isn't that demanding.

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Subject: retention rate

After reading everyone else's comments, I have to say I'm very impressed with the thought and time my classmates have given to the dropout issue. I really hadn't thought it through that deeply. My initial impression was that the lazier students just got scared off. Maybe they thought (all the Prof's initial comments to the contrary) that this was a "gut" course that someone could breeze through and get an easy C just by signing on -- but once they say what was required, they said, forget it. This creates a dilemma for you, Professor: if you underplay the course, you'll get even more dropouts; but if you come on too heavy handed with how hard it's going to be, no one will sign up.

Maybe the students need a little more "stroking" the first few weeks with how well they're doing -- you know, a compliment here, a thumbs-up there. This sounds very grade-schoolish, but it might help.

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Subject: reply

I seewhat you're saying, but I don't think the professor should go to that extreme, because people ahve to realize this is college, and deal with it. It may help, but for me personally I don't think I would want the professor to go to that extreme. I think he is participating enough to keep the class interesting, and it seems like he's mastered the way to respond, so I think personally more responding or less responding would hinder the course.

Professor, maybe it would be to your advantage if you really wanted to know why find out who dropped out, their age, their academic status, the degree program they are in, and how many internet classes they have taken. After that information is compiled you can possibly make an assumption to why it happened. For instance, some people may have taken the course as an elective and thought it'd be easy, but realized they can do less work in another class. Some people may be fresh out of high school and not a goal oriented as others. Or it could even be lack of knowledge with computers. I think there are various reasons why it's just gathering the information and looking at it may help explain why. Just a thought

Subject: reply

It would be interesting to analyze why people have dropped out if they gave a reason. The key here is to understanding why someone would opt for an Internet course. Work, family and other academic endeavors surely play a role. Personally, I think the class is set up well and have enjoyed the material and instruction. I know the challenge for me is balancing the program of study between my professional obligations and responsibilities.


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