Click and Wait

Hello friends, and welcome to another exciting adventure in Meg Complains About Online Classes. If you’ve missed my previous updates, mostly I think that textbooks are inefficient, prereqs are inefficient, threats are inefficient, and discussion boards are everything that sucks about internet commenting. Education doesn’t have to suck, you guys. At least exams are awesome.

I’ve continued to do really well on my exams and continued to find the discussions a drag, so I was excited to take stats, because I figured math would be solving problems and not miserable discussion board assignments. (By the way, I got a B in my last session. I’m trying to see it as managing a B while moving to China and starting a new job and having spotty wifi and not as a way I’ve screwed up in the classes I’m taking in order to improve my candidacy for the masters program I want. But my view depends on the day.)  My math class requires a math lab account, for an additional $100, where students can log in and do homework and take quizzes. I’m slightly resentful of the $100 fee, since I’ve done homework and taken quizzes in the college’s Blackboard system already, so I’m not entirely sure what I got for the extra $100. Fortunately, students get infinite tries on homework questions, which is pretty great, especially when my wifi hiccups and I get logged out of the system or I lose connection entirely.

Unfortunately, there is also a discussion component. We’re given a problem and we have to solve it in the discussion board. This confuses me, isn’t the whole thing about math that the answers aren’t really up for discussion or debate? It’s not like we can read the same equation through a different critical lens to interpret the narrative in new ways.

The amount of work seems quite reasonable, although it ends up taking a very long time. See, there are so many steps of clicking and waiting that I spend most of my time clicking and waiting and then getting a popup and then clicking ok on it and waiting again. I haven’t watched TV since I’ve been in China, except for a couple background episodes while I was writing my last paper, but I’m pretty sure the click, wait, click, wait, click, will require some background viewing. What shows go well the repetitive frustration? I also spend a certain amount of my homework time rereading the question because the answer is so obvious I must be missing something important. Probably just for the beginning of the semester, but it’s also possible that I underestimated my stats skills and this class will be a repeat of my college statistics course. That’s cool, I haven’t complained about my classes in a while.

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