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Alex Hillman

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drexel rant 1.1

2 minute read
by Alex Hillman

Jason Santa Maria, whom i recently introduced myself to, posted about a course that is using his website as an example of critiquing site design and usability. His focus is on the types of critiques he was given (and kudos to him for taking them in stride…some of those kids were harsh), but I came away with a more valuable lesson: some schools actually CAN keep programs up to date and deliver them in an effective manner over the web.

what do i have to do to get a professor who is a) this knowledgeable about current, relevant course material and b) innovative enough to use wordpress to drive class participation?

has anyone else seen this kind of format used? Drexel uses blackboard and it is awful…and id KILL for a web development course that focused on standards and usability (instead of tables and frames!)

HEY DREXEL! Get off your ass and take MSU’s program as an example of solid, innovative course material that is relevant and presented in an online format. I’m sick of paying $1500 per class to “learn” from 5 year old slides on 7-10 year old material. I’m tired of being bothered with “busy work” and not being challenged or provoked to actually think on my own.

Ill give Drexel credit, their co-op program has helped me immensely. I’ve changed careers (from IT to web development) because of an opportunity it presented. But outside of that, the only thing I’ve learned is how much red tape comes with a high-ticket University.

The level of frustration that I’m experiencing with Drexel right now is obscene. I can’t get a return phone call unless I wave threats of an alumni’s annual donation going away, it takes weeks to get an intelligent human being on the phone at all. I waste hours upon hours a week staring at garbage slides and waiting until mid-week for a professor to respond as to why no assessments have been assigned for the week. Negligence, poor course material, laggy grading times…the whole thing is a mess, and I’m sick of it.

I’ve written the professor of this class at MSU, to try to get a feel for how he keeps his material fresh and interesting, and thought provoking. Maybe Ill get something to bring back to Drexel and suggest that they use to make their program not suck.

i’m not dropping out because i’ve already blown $50k on this piece of paper and i’ll be damned if i dont get it, and soon. But Drexel needs to quit wasting my time (and money) if they want to keep my business. I’ll take it to MSU, or anywhere else that doesnt suck, if it means a program that I can actually gain something from (or be proud to say I participated in).


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Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.