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Protoclete

Online College of Commissioner Science?

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As higher education institutions are moving to online teaching for the rest of the semester because of Coronavirus concerns, it is an opportunity to re-evaluate the availability of some training online that currently is not. 

I am a college professor. I am fully in support of the value of in-person classes and discussion when possible. As for the overall all debate on in-person vs. online, while I enjoy and prefer in-person when possible - if accredited universities can offer all their classes online, certainly scouting should be able to as well. Especially in geographically large councils, for people who have mobility or financial limitations, or times when public gatherings are prohibited (as, for some of us, right now). 

I am also aware that some of the online training Scouting provides is duplicated or cumbersome. However, for the most part, it is much easier now to get people trained at least to a basic, position specific level, than it ever has. This has also, I think just as importantly, made it possible to track a person's training to a degree we did not have even a decade ago.

Noticeably lacking in this area, however, is the College of Commissioner Science. I know the lessons slides/notes are available online (https://www.scouting.org/commissioners/training/college/), but downloading and reading these usually will not 'count' as having taken the class. I have, over the last 15 years, been to three CCS/UoS events, in three different councils, and almost inevitably, it was just a powerpoint presentation that one could have just as well read on your own time at home. There is value in the conversations and sharing with others between 'classes', but the lessons themselves are no different in person than online. 

And, none of those three have recorded any of my attendance anywhere trackable. I cannot 'prove' I was at them, other than to find an old patch when available.  Three should be enough to complete the "master's level" but I'm still arguing for my "bachelor's". 

So, shouldn't we be encouraging either or both:

  • These classes be added to the online training available to all scouts.
  • A way to submit attendance at classes to be "certified" in some way, so that in-person training is tracked and recorded along with all the online training?

Anything else? 

 

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I certainly concur with all of your thoughts and ideas, @Protoclete. I live in a pretty densely populated area, yet for some reason there are only a few select opportunities to take the CC courses each year - and the primary event that was planned for tomorrow has now been cancelled. 

In light of recent advances in technology, as well as the unfortunate spread of illness in the past few weeks, I think it would behoove the BSA to look into making as many of these courses available online as possible. They already have a great number of their position-specific courses available online; I can't imagine it would be any more complicated to do the same for all the CC courses as well - or at least a large percentage of them. I definitely agree that better tracking methods, broader availability of online courses, and new ways to certify the taking of said courses in absolutely in order. I will support any movement to help make it happen. 

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