Reviewing Unit 1 of BYU’s online Honors Government class suggests it’s no better than the high school class; the only advantage is that students save time.
There’s an interesting unofficial experiment taking place at Little Bookworm’s high school: Rather than sitting through a semester of Government (five days a week for five months or so), many of the kids have discovered that they can get the same credit if they sign up for an online, independent study U.S. Honors Government class that BYU offers.
Those kids who have taken the government class say that they cover the same amount of material that they were covering in the classroom, except that, if they power through the online material, they can finish it in a three-day weekend. It’s not just the time-saving aspect that appeals to them. The school’s teacher is apparently boring. The online material is also boring (more on that in a minute), but 15 hours of boring is a lot better than the 70 or so classroom hours they would otherwise spend on U.S. government, not even counting homework.
I’m happy to report that the classroom teachers are feeling threatened. According to Little Bookworm, when several kids were in the hallway discussing the online class option, a teacher who walked by said, “You’re taking my job away.”
Dear Public School Teacher: Welcome to the wonderful world of competition. Maybe now you’ll up your game and stop being boring, often vindictive, arbitrary and capricious, ideologically driven, and all the other sins that too often show up in teachers whose tenure, combined with the aforementioned lack of competition, mean that they have sinecures, no matter their academic sins.
So that’s the good stuff. All is not perfect, though, in the world of BYU’s online U.S. Government class. The writing is horrible, the information inaccurate or ill-informed, and the tests unfair (something that is offset by the fact that students can get all the answers online and take the test twice to perfect their grades). Let me elaborate: [Read more…]