This is a 101 philosophy class in an online format. Each week we have over 100 dense pages of a textbook to read as our sole source of information for the class. The teacher does not do any teaching and relies on the textbook.
Obviously a textbook is beneficial but especially for a 101 class, it is difficult to grasp these complex ideas without the input from your professor. Is this wrong? I am having a hard time understanding concepts and actually learning. No lectures or actual teaching. There are no actual in-class sessions: the work is posted at the beginning of the week and we submit by the end. Other classes I take in this format have provided lectures but this one does not. He only grades the work we did. Being paid to provide no expertise and guidance, only grade?
The assignments are discussions and quiz questions based on chapters in the text, that have to be usually 750 words or more. When he grades them he sometimes comments and says "yes that is true". It is one discussion with usually 2 open ended questions and 2 quiz questions that are long open ended each week.
Further remarks following the comments:
- Typically, discussions for this class are not beneficial because most people don't actually engage and debate/ go back and forth. We do not have discussion it is solely our interpretation of the readings. Most just say "I agree with what you said and I like this part..". So it is not actually helping us learn and debate. But I cannot blame my classmates because the discussion we have to post are over 750 words so why would they want to read something similar to what they wrote. They can only do so much, they are not doing anything in this case except for grading which is frustrating to me.
- There is only 21 people in the class. Obviously that is a lot of grading to do but he assigned it and could set the word count to be lower if he chose to. Most teachers reuse the same assignments and discussion questions each year or get them from the textbook. Every module/unit has been posted since September, so he is not lesson planning each week. He only has to grade each week, I am not denying that is a lot of reading but can you understand that it is frustrating for a student to not receive any actual instruction, but I am still spending a lot of money to take the course?
- The professor has not mentioned any office hours. I have not tried sending questions by e-mail; will try that and see if I get any useful responses.