I'm in an online graduate program. I have two classes with the same professor. One is required and the other is from a small pool of elective classes. In other words, the odds of someone taking both classes is quite high. One of the assignments from each class is exactly the same. The assignments are not a trivial portion of the class grade. There is some room to create a different product the second time around, but mostly in the presentation and less so in the content, since the content that must be included has been dictated by the professor and involves giving our opinion about the exact same points in both cases. This feels very awkward. I don't want to self-plagiarize or reuse content, but it is almost impossible to not reuse at least some content and still complete the assignment, given the nature of the assignment.
A second assignment is also reused between the courses, however, that assignment can go in a slightly different direction, whereas the first reused assignment cannot. I can't help but feel, however, that this isn't really best practice, since, as I mentioned, both of these classes will be taken by many of the same students due to the program requirements and the final products will be very, very similar due to the required elements of the assignment.
I should add that students need to do a capstone project, in which we reflect on specific assignments from our coursework, at the end of our degree in order to graduate. We have a limited number of classes from which to draw this coursework. (It must be from our area of concentration, which is made up of only 5 classes, including these 2).
Additional information: It is also obvious to me that the course content was largely copied and pasted between the two courses, as well, since the textbook listed initially was the same for both classes. That has since been corrected.
Thus far, there are no lectures posted, only assigned readings.
Is this typical? I'm not sure whether I'm justified in feeling a little ripped off and disappointed.
I understand that professors are often overworked, underpaid, under-respected, etc., and I am sympathetic to these problems in higher education. But I'm also a paying student. (And just generally, since I'm complaining, anyway, I'm tired of not receiving feedback on my assignments beyond stuff along the lines of "Great paper!" I am not even sure many of my professors are reading my papers, based on the scant/generic feedback I've gotten. As an undergraduate, I remember actually getting in-line comments on papers, but I have only rarely gotten that degree of feedback as a graduate student. It is sad to work hard on an assignment and feel as though my professor hasn't even read it.)