American Public University System

American Public University System Review

I enrolled in the graduate level space studies program. My experience with the first course was such that I cancelled my registration by the third week and withdrew from APUS. The APUS business model is much mindless busy work for the students (constant posting and mandatory responses in discussion groups) with little input from instructors. | The space studies course was worse than this, however. The instructor did not read the papers. He merely assigned grades on the basis of Turnitin with no consideration of how Turnitin actually functions. Entire bibliographies were counted as “plagiarism” because somebody else on the planet cited the same source. | Turnitin deducts “plagiarism” points for three-word sequences that, again, match a three-word sequence of someone else’s paper. The instructor’s response to all this was to recommend rewriting the paper in a contorted, stilted manner so that Turnitin would not flag it. The instructor was actually demanding that students write broken English so that he would not have to do any work. | These defective papers will eventually become part of the capstone project at the end of the program, to be held against the students when they present such defective work to a prospective employer. | I also took the first course in the graduate level history program. In this case, the instructor actually read the papers, made meaningful comments and assigned appropriate grades. However, most of the course was posting and commenting on irrelevant issues. Given the nature of the students, many of these posts were virtual signaling and moral grandstanding, not cogent comments on the subject matter. My sense was that this was more of an ideology course than a history course. | I advise avoiding APUS. Their low tuition comes at a cost: busy work that does not enhance learning and barely any instructor involvement. Even worse, they use Turnitin as an excuse to assign poor grades to good work. I suppose it gives them the illusion of rigor.

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