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Tue May 5, 2020, 03:01 AM

Unimpressed by online classes, college students seek refunds

They wanted the campus experience, but their colleges sent them home to learn online during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, students at more than 25 U.S. universities are filing lawsuits against their schools demanding partial refunds on tuition and campus fees, saying they’re not getting the caliber of education they were promised.

The suits reflect students’ growing frustration with online classes that schools scrambled to create as the coronavirus forced campuses across the nation to close last month. The suits say students should pay lower rates for the portion of the term that was offered online, arguing that the quality of instruction is far below the classroom experience.

Colleges, though, reject the idea that refunds are in order. Students are learning from the same professors who teach on campus, officials have said, and they’re still earning credits toward their degrees. Schools insist that, after being forced to close by their states, they're still offering students a quality education.

Grainger Rickenbaker, a freshman who filed a class-action lawsuit against Drexel University in Philadelphia, said the online classes he’s been taking are poor substitutes for classroom learning. There’s little interaction with students or professors, he said, and some classes are being taught almost entirely through recorded videos, with no live lecture or discussion.

Read more: https://thesouthern.com/news/state-and-regional/unimpressed-by-online-classes-college-students-seek-refunds/article_df3f3744-74ec-5be2-bfd4-15b26bf9a569.html
(Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)

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Reply Unimpressed by online classes, college students seek refunds (Original post)
TexasTowelie May 2020 OP
targetpractice May 2020 #1
murielm99 May 2020 #2
targetpractice May 2020 #3
murielm99 May 2020 #8
targetpractice May 2020 #9
targetpractice May 2020 #10
Renew Deal May 2020 #4
Igel May 2020 #6
Neoma May 2020 #5
B Stieg May 2020 #7

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2020, 04:04 AM

1. Not sure how to feel about this...

I went to the University of Virginia, and the experience of being there was hugely important to my development as an adult... The architecture was breathtaking, I came out of the closet there, learned to become a social person... I really feel for students now who can't participate in the on-campus college experience... I think college is partly about learning, but mostly is about learning how to be an adult... Leaving the nest, learning about yourself, treating people kindly.

That said... I think they may deserve refunds, but would hate for colleges to go bankrupt. Every single part of our society is screwed up right now... We need to pause and think about how to move forward. And that pause and reflection is not happening by mid-May.

When I was confused about committing to a major... My father told me that a Bachelor's degree won't make me an expert in anything... College is like, "You are given a four year project, how well did you manage it."

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Response to targetpractice (Reply #1)

Tue May 5, 2020, 05:12 AM

2. I remember having trouble keeping a "B" in

college math classes. It was important to me.

I tried to use the textbook and some videos that were supposed to help. They were of some value. But I needed the teacher in the classroom, so I could ask questions and see him or her work the problems. Also, I did homework in the learning lab, where students could get help with difficult problem sets. I went to the test prep sessions as well. I met my goal of "B" grades. But it took a lot of work and live people!

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #2)

Tue May 5, 2020, 05:23 AM

3. You are obviously much younger than me.. Hahah...

No video during my time in college... But, I get it... I can't imagine not being able to go to a lab for chemistry or biology without one-on-one discussions with my professor. And, study groups in the library! Zoom is not the college experience.

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Response to targetpractice (Reply #3)

Fri May 8, 2020, 02:35 PM

8. We are most likely close in age.

I went back to school, grad school, when I was nearly fifty. They told me I had deficiencies in math. I had to take college math classes if I wanted a degree. That is why I had access to videos.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #8)

Fri May 8, 2020, 11:15 PM

9. Hah... Math was my nemesis.. Especially, calculus.

Good for you!!!

I think my high school math teacher just passed me because she was gay, and she suspected I was.... The only thing I remember from calculus is, "The answer is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer." An expression I use to this day.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #8)

Fri May 8, 2020, 11:22 PM

10. I don't understand how they teach kids math these days...

I've seen lessons online.... Years ago I was standing in line to buy the first iPad released by Apple (2010, I suppose), and I was waiting in line with a school teacher behind me, and she tried to explain it to me... She thought it was nuts... So different than how we learned it as children.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2020, 08:04 AM

4. This is a big topic, at all levels of education.

Will kids fall behind where they are supposed to be and how does that impact future years? That’s probably a bigger issue in Math than other subjects.

I don’t think that those with an online option should get refunds for classes for this semester. But definitely for food and possibly for housing.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #4)

Tue May 5, 2020, 09:57 PM

6. Yeah.

Math is a biggie.

Language instruction, too. Whether German for English-speakers or English for English-language learners.

And let's not forget a lot of disadvantaged kids where a lot of phonological and vocabulary development happens in the classroom, not at home.

That's for all kids, those subjects.

Then there are the kids who don't engage at school. They already tend to fall behind, and that's with showing up at school and being nudged. Now they're at home, often ignored, and they're not learning anything. It's not that they're trying and can't--they're happy not to be bothered with all that school shit when they could be doing "real" things--sports, video games, drugs, sex, or just hanging and talking about the first 4. Or even going to work and bringing home the big bucks.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2020, 10:55 AM

5. I'm in that boat.

They switched my classes online during spring break. I do not think I should sue the school for the lack of quality. However, I am a history student. Science majors are getting royally screwed over because they do not have labs when they are supposed to. Education majors cannot do observation hours at schools because they are all closed. I think that sort of thing should be refunded.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2020, 02:42 AM

7. I refuse to teach asynchronously.

And I encourage discussion, although I still can't get my freshman comp folks to get comfortable leaving their video on!
Of course, teaching is not really as enlivened or as engaging as it can be in an in-person class.

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