Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Univerisity of Phoenix Drama!!!

Oooh! Exciting developments! Developments worthy of multiple exclamation points!!!

My trials and tribulations with the University of Phoenix have been well chronicled on this forum. But there is one incident that has escalated into a fun, typing feud. For those that recall Valpo's Student Senate, I definitely compare that experience with this one. This is an incident in which I am firmly in the right, and people want to debate that fact. What follows is wordy bliss!

Let me take you back in time, dear reader. A week ago, my team had its second team paper due for our course. One of the team members - we'll call him Sean for no particular reason - decided to cut and paste 90% of his contribution to the first team paper and submit it to the group for his contribution to the second team paper. Sean hoped no one would notice, but the acute, ever proofreading eye of Mr. Wolfman noticed this incredibly obvious cut and paste. I said as much to the team.

My original post to the team:


I was hesitant yet silent when you mentioned that you wanted to research the same two companies as our first paper. What you have submitted is almost completely word-for-word what was in the first paper with a few sentences at the end throwing in a new twist. I think these sections need reworking to at least show some additional thought or research went into the paper and that we are not cutting and pasting from old documents at a master's level course.


A full day passed in which every member of the team posted a new comment to the team forum and none of whom bothered to even acknowledge my comment or the fact that a major incident had taken place. Now close to the deadline, I realized that nothing was going to happen and posted a follow-up.

If we as a team are going to ignore the issue I brought forth last night regarding cutting and pasting, so be it. I still find this to be a severe breach of any type of academic standards, but if it is going to remain in the paper as is, it should at least be cited appropriately. Using a previous paper, one must cite himself and his previous paper compliant to APA standards. At the very least, the reader, in this case the professor, has the right to know where the material was originally published.


The paper was submitted, and my name yet again was attached to a paper that would have failed Mr. Nelson's 10th grade English class. So it goes. The professor opted to give Sean a separate grade from the rest of the team, and I do not know what the grade was. I hope he failed miserably.

For the class, we are required to post to the class a final summary of what we learned, liked, disliked, or otherwise experienced. An open forum if you will.

Sean's profound class summary?

Its finally over, believe it or not it seems like we just started last week. The past 6 weeks have gone fast but been very informative. I enjoyed the class and hope to see you all again in future classes.

Getting past whatever the hell that first sentence was (part run-on, part fragment), you see that there was a whole lot of nothing in the overall message. My final summary weighed in at a cool 487 words offering pros and cons of various course features. The part relevant to Sean follows:

The group papers were again largely unnecessary. I don't know that they were so educational that they were/are worth the stresses and hassles of coordinating schedules and pain staking unification. While they do allow a glimpse into other companies that we as a team would otherwise be unexposed to, I don't know that a team paper is the best forum for this information. A discussion thread amongst the class or even the team would have been a better medium, particularly given the lazy tendencies of certain team members.

Apparently Sean's guilty conscious got the best of him - that and my nameless jab. He felt the need to reply to my class summary in the most glorious of fashions.

Once again you over analyze everything and make something out of nothing. Complain, complain, complain...that seems to be what you should have mastering in....

I was giddy when I saw that answer. Unprofessional, incorrect verb tense, and AN EMOTICON! Absolutely stunning. That simple answer was such a perfect microcosm for Sean's entire effort. Of course, I had to respond.

It's unfortunate for this outburst of unprofessional comments (though the emoticon was an especially nice touch). I never mentioned you by name, Sean, but the overwhelming discrepancy in effort between group members was tremendously egregious. In a true academic setting, cutting and pasting from one paper to another would be grounds for failure of the entire course. Truth be told, I was as concerned that the group was apathetic toward the whole event as I was the original effortless second submission.

The incident in this class was a reinforcement of previous classes which have been full of disappointing group experiences where the team setting did not produce the results, I believe, that could have been achieved through other forms of learning. I attempted to convey this fact with other positives of this class, which you clearly took as a personal attack. I will not go so far as to say it wasn't, but it was not the main point of the final summary.


Bye, bye Sean. Bye, bye. :)

Photo from SunnyValeChristianSchool First Grade Page


Edwin said...

Drew, you were eloquent and concise with your thoughts and criticism. It upsets me, as it does you, that this class-a-moron will have a degree equal to yours and higher than mine (not that I'm a scholar or even intelligent) simply by skating by.

I give this post a 95%.

JR said...


Edwin said...


CHCgirl said...

I didn't get a chance to read this until today (can you say my life is miserable?) but aside for the slandering senate in the beginning (which I guess maybe is accurate, but being a part of an organization that is in the same category as sean is depressing) I have to echo Ed's comments. I also wonder how/where he completed undergraduate schooling. At least you are one class closer to being DONE with the Univ of Phoenix!

(I deliberately wrote that first sentence in sean-esque writing style)

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