Why Can I Not Record Audio In An Online Learning Application?

I really want to feel like I’m really invested in the learning experience. But a few weeks ago I got accepted into a prestigious online program, but I’m having trouble being able to record audio on the application, nor is there anything in the FAQs that really helps me work out what’s going on.

Sometimes it seems like the education industry is going through a Ponzi scheme. It’s super fun to sit in on all the presentations that they hold, learning fascinating things about how they have enabled you to make such high marks on their various standardized test materials and which of those statements they can’t be believed because the public really doesn’t have to take their word for it, given that they are the consumer of their classroom teaching, giving them an amazing and ridiculous confidence level in its value and power.

Yet during my more naive years, I still believed everything they said about this. In online courses, in college courses, the questions you answered counted for as much as the ones the instructor answered. This was because I believed that some amount of face-to-face interaction was still required to give students a sense of the value of their subjects. I now know better.

I can read an oversold public relations fluff article about what an amazing class I had during the most expensive week of my life. I can report that the instructor and her lecturers and others on her teaching staff attended to every detail, perhaps more than some students do, but I can tell you that anything done in front of a video camera was usually only for good show. You might see your answer on a screen if you did a well crafted answer, but by the time that fact became part of the public buzz it was largely a forgotten object of post mortem interest. You came to CERN, you got CERN, you got CERN. You failed. You failed the CERN exam, or you got the biggest hour-long screw up in the history of those pesky post-production computer programs that read this stuff and then spout it off to us educated masses, something you bought the ticket for before you even knew about it.

Do you suppose anyone explains the difference between something written out in text, and another conversation-type discussion that is being entered into to write something? “When the university guy found the missing thing, he wanted to show his kids to get the idea of it. His wife should be fired now.” “Man, that Zim recipe has flown off the shelf because he likes it.”

No sir. You will either have spent the minimum amount of time you need to get your answers right before going on stage, or you will barely have begun to read your conclusion when the moderator comes out with a catch phrase, and a bunch of instructors remember the frame of reference you’ve explained and proceed to put your academic BS in it. You see, the way online learning is now being taught may be working in universities like a country cadence playing in Dixieland, but it also means you can’t even record it. When I attend a university, or the university I’m applying to, the first rule we know about is, “Oops, that lecture didn’t exist.”

Sure, if the instructors actually take notes and show them to the students, some people will realize they need to start filling out those six-page verbal questionnaires; but most people have seen enough blank papers to realize that’s not a 100% reliable method of gauging whether the class was worth their money. Students getting great grades by commenting and “discovering” where their classmates are supposed to be is unheard of and so not an ideal test of success.

I’m in the middle of applying to four universities and I’m having a hard time. Maybe it’s because they’re not really confident they are smart and talented enough to get me in, or it might be because I’m not smart enough to be part of that scenario. Or maybe it’s because I’m not stupid enough to know that paying someone money to put a dozen perfectly valid jokes about their trip to Pluto into a presentation is what is likely to get them the job. Whatever it is, when I go in and apply for my future on-campus courses, I know exactly what I’m going to get, and I tell you right now, the truth that I put into my essay does matter.

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