This is not education, and certainly does not represent true value…

The following letter was sent to:

  • Edward Meadows, President, Pensacola State College
  • Danny Steele, Department Head, Engineering Tech Programs, Pensacola State College
  • Chad Andrea, Professor, Pensacola State College

10 December 2013

 

 

Pensacola State College
1000 College Blvd
Pensacola, FL  32504

SUBJ:  CGS1061C – Introduction to Computers in Technology

Sirs:

Over the course of the last fifteen weeks I’ve read and reviewed the materials required by CGS1061C Introduction to Computers in Technology published by Cengage Learning; ISBN-13: 978-1-133-62973-3 Computer Literacy BASICS: A Comprehensive Guide to IC3, Fourth Edition by Connie Morrison and Dolores Wells; $162.95 (list).

While I will not purport to be a subject matter expert on every topic covered in this text, I do possess a technical background sufficient to observe numerous technical errors in the book, accompanying study materials, and tests.  It is clear that the book represents a very superficial view of technology and was written by individuals who lacked a deep understanding of the topics they were covering.  Further, it is clear that Cengage did not invest time and energy into having the materials reviewed by subject matter experts before publishing the first edition – and it would appear that they have invested little in correcting the book in the three additional editions since that point in time.

It may well benefit Cengage to product shoddy material like this at a low production cost with significant revenues, but it is a travesty for any institution of higher learning to use materials with technically inaccurate information, antiquated pictures and examples, and personal prejudices presented as fact (there is a huge difference between a “best practice” and an invariant fact).

Parroting information presented in a book, particularly when that information is incorrect, is not education.

I’ve included goal 6 from the strategic goals to reinforce that basing courses on materials like this is not in keeping with the published mission or goal of Pensacola State College.

  • Provide quality instruction through effective curriculum development, accessible delivery, and criterion-based assessment according to a common set of academic standards for each discipline.

And perhaps using the world “value” (as defined by the Oxford dictionary: the worth of something compared to the price paid or ask for it) to the published philosophy rather than “lowest possible cost” might further help illustrate the tenant of providing quality (not just quantity).

  • Being accountable to Florida’s citizens, the college exercises fiscal responsibility by offering the lowest possible cost consistent with its commitment to high standards.

I’ve taken classes from and attended seminars at a number of institutions of higher learning across this country, and I’ve found that quality education and academic excellence has always been a fundamental precept of each and every school.  Unfortunately I do not see that as the case at Pensacola State College – I see at Pensacola State College generally that the “would you like fries with that” mentality seems to apply to the educational standards, and excellence is just a word.  I implore you to take a stand and make a difference.

Sincerely,

L Roger Soles

L Roger Soles