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Opinions On Online Course Content And Delivery

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Tejus

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
hola,

I apologize if this thread belongs in the Education forum, but I'm interested in the Newbie/Wannabe opinions so I'm posting here. Feel free to move this post if you think it belongs in the Education forum.

I took an online course recently and was disappointed in the course content and delivery.

The course content was missing many things. By the end of the course, I had a lengthy list of topics which I had to cover on my own.

The course delivery consisted of text windows followed by questions. A lot of the material was repeated over and over. This is a technique used to increase the student's retention, but boring and limits the amount of material that could be covered. There was no multimedia in the course.

The up side was I could complete the education requirement quickly.

Has anybody else taken an online course? If yes, what was your opinion on the content? on delivery? Did the course contain any multimedia or other delivery techniques to make the course more interesting? I’ve searched the forum and there are a few comments, I’m interested in more recent comments also.

These questions apply to courses outside the appraisal domain also. Feel free to submit an opinion for any online course you have taken.

Muchas gracias.
 

hal380

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Connecticut
Maybe you could help us by naming the company who puts out this deficient course. :blink: :(
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I am betting I know who's class it was but I will wait and see.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I am biased because I facilitate a registered appraisers course for a local real estate school. Some people really need more than looking at a computer screen or reading a book. Much of what my students get is the result of real practical appraisal practice. We are able to share concepts, go off on tangents, and work on something until everyone gets it. You don't get that in a correspondence course.

In my opinion, speed isn't necessarily good in learning to be an appraiser. Most schools and course providers will tell you they are there only to get you past the exam.
 

Tejus

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Thanks for the comments so far, keep them coming.

My general guideline for naming names is "praise publicly, criticize privately". I make exceptions to the guideline, but I'm going to follow the guideline in this instance. My comments are general and apply to many of the online courses which are currently offered. I have already expressed my concerns in great detail to the course provider.

If somebody would like to setup a poll for course providers, I'll be glad to voice my opinion in the poll.

If you want a school for consideration, you might consider the Lincoln Graduate Center/NAMA. I've never taken one of their courses and have no association with them, but their course outline and organization looks good. I was interested in taking their courses, but have not yet found the time to do so. I don't think they offer online courses, but I'm not sure about this. The downside is limited availability and pricey.

I agree the best education option is a good instructor in a classroom setting. This is not always available. As Mike stated, most schools are oriented at helping the student pass the exam. Unfortunately, many are failing in Texas. The state test examinee failure rate is approximately 50%. The schools claim their students pass the state test, but the state records show differently.

The online appraisal courses I've seen leave a lot to be desired. If you have any opinions or experience you'd like to share then please submit it. You don't need to identify the course provider, especially if you are identifying negative's. I'm more interested in things you liked or disliked about the course content and delivery.

hasta la vista.
 

hal380

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Connecticut
Hello Alan;

I find myself agreeing with you on the praise publicly and criticize privately and perhaps you're right about it being a matter of a poll. On the other hand if you were to name the name and give an unbiased report of the short comings where's the harm. The benefit could be saving some of our friends here a few bucks, and serve as motivation for the online company to upgrade their course material.

I have taken 90 hrs with the Lincoln Grad. Center and found their instructors to be absolutley top shelf. I would certainly be happy to take more courses with them.

Regards

Hal
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I've heard a number of appraisers comment about online courses. Some of their comments are positive and some are negative. What's funny (amusing) is that whether the comment was positive or negative seems to depend on what their goals are for the course.

There are a lot of people who take the distance education courses because they're convenient. No specific classes to attend, work on it when you want to work on it and all that. Face it, scheduling live classes during your working hours is almost always a hassle.

There are a lot of people who take these courses because they're 'fast'. I've heard of a number of stories of how an appraiser would get 8 hours of credit for 3 hours of work and that kind of thing.

I've also had a couple distance providers tell me that some people learn better through these formats than from live instruction. I have yet to hear that comment form any of the students, though. I'm sure that a distance course where the material is actually covered in a uniform manner and a test is required to pass is going to benefit the student a lot more than a live class offered by a lousy or lazy instructor.

IMO, there are some courses where the content is entirely covered in the class materials and there is really no need for a live instructor. Whether you take it live or not is more a matter of preference. Then there are those courses (USPAP actually being one of them) that are so important and far reaching that it's best not only to take a live course, but to take one from the best instructor you can find. Take advantage of all the feedback, all the review, all the peer comments and discussions, etc that are available with a good instructor.

If your main goal is to accumulate the required hours in as short a time frame as possible, you might as well stick with the online courses. If you're really trying to learn the business and are a serious student, take the live courses either before licensing or as a follow-up after you get into the workfield. I must emphasize that not all instructors are created equal. Being a good appraiser is not synonymous with being a good instructor (and vice versa). Try to stick with the best ones you can find. Poll your peers to get their opinions.

Regardless of which route you end up choosing, try to get as much from each course and you can. It's your time and your money. You should make the most of it.
 

Jennifer Freudenberg

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
I took the Allied online course and was overall pretty happy with it. The books were helpful in studying for the state exam and it seemed to be a pretty thorough course. It wasn't very interactive or exciting though. I think it helped me pass the state exam on my 1st try, so it was worth it.

Jennifer
 

Linda M Lynch

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
I know appraisers who take online course and LOVE them...because they can get their ceu s done on their own schedule. However, I would rather go to well taught classes. If an experienced appraiser is teaching the class he/she can give insights into the "real life" problems that you just can't get online. I also learn a lot from other participants in the class, both during class and during breaks and lunch. And finally, it is something that will allow me to justify to myself taking a bit of a break from the daily grind.

Just my take.
 
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