The start of my second graduate degree has commenced and I am cautiously trying to decide when it is appropriate to regret my choice. Let me explain. There is no potential regret for choosing to start another graduate program, but there is potential for regretting which university and program I chose. After much research, I originally narrowed my options to three programs: Pepperdine University’s
Master of Arts in Learning Technologies, Michigan State University’s Educational Technology Master of Arts, and Purdue University’s Master of Science in Learning Design and Technology. All of these allowed me the option of studying via distance and, on paper, seemed to match my educational goals. Pepperdine’s program was too expensive and required me to be on-site in California for two summers, which I was unable to commit because of prior commitments to summer volunteering and service. After choosing Purdue’s Master of Science in Learning Design and Technology, I am wondering if it was the correct choice.
In choosing to study further about educational technology, I was hoping that program would utilize the newest of tools and professors who modeled both global learning and cutting-edge instructional practices.
Though much too early to make a decision, here are my first observations after several weeks of classes:
1. I cannot find professors from the program using social media
I haven’t been able to find even one of them active on Twitter. Actually, I have yet to find any professors from Purdue active on Twitter. I certainly expected that professors from the Learning Design and Technology program actively sharing and engaged with others around the world through Twitter or other social media platforms.
2. Digital Services
The learning (course) management system that is used by Purdue is Blackboard. Had I known just how antiquated and inefficient this learning management system is, it would have influenced my decision to choose another program. Currently I am spending way too much time fumbling through terribly organized discussions on Blackboard. There is almost no social aspect to it and I really do not want to spend the next two years of my life trying to communicate with people via poorly designed discussion boards.
Further, Purdue’s Mymail system feels like, as did Blackboard, stepping back in time. Truly, I do not understand why schools do not get on board with Gmail. Even Yahoo, Hotmail, and others have figured out that they have to improve their email services.
3. Lack of Response
Throughout the admissions process I had a great experience with my admissions counselor. Truly, I felt like he helped walk me through the process and actually cared about my application. Then, once an enrolled student, I received the “mass” email from the Director of Recruitment welcoming me to the program. There main thrust of the email was a specific request to respond to him answering five questions. I answered them, thoroughly and thoughtfully, providing positives and negatives concerning my experience. I never heard back from him. That was three weeks ago.
I am trying my best to wait and choose whether to regret my decision at a later time. I realize it is far too early to tell, but so far the signs have me worried.