I have changed direction, no longer pursuing nursing, and no longer on these boards, but I will weigh back in here for a final comment (essay) because I took three classes from Geneva / Portage. First, your transcript will say Geneva (and if you ask them to make the dates align with a traditional semester they will do that). It may say portage somewhere as well but portage is simply the “name brand“ of their online delivery system, not a school name of its own. Nice, helpful, responsive teachers. Now, the important part, what were the classes and tests like…?
Lectures are fast, not always clear, and I found it helpful to go buy a used AP textbook from half-price books to explain things better. All of the reading material is online so you will be printing huge amounts of material on your own printer (assume an entire ream of paper). I don’t see how it would be possible to make notes if you did not have a hardcopy (unless you are really good at using mark up software on a laptop that you can write on - and then you would need the video lectures running on one computer while you took notes along side the written materials on your second computer or tablet. This was what I did.)
Labs are utterly ridiculous with regard to how much lecture information they contain and the specific degree of knowledge you have to know to take the timed quiz at the end. Ridiculous. I graduated with a 3.95 GPA for my BSEd and I completed my masters program with around 3.7. But THIS was ridiculous (granted, I am not a “detail” learner, I succeeded in my earlier studies by grasping larger principles and patterns, and NEVER had to memorize lists of bones or definitions of things that have no context in my real world experience – some other people have said they found the portage classes easy, so maybe it depends on the type of brain you have?).
Did I mention labs were ridiculous? Like, if you are taking notes by hand and are meticulous like me, a 30 minute lab might take 4 to 6 hours. Here’s how to fix that:
1. Buy an iPhone and install an iPhone version of word or some other document. If you know how to keep these documents in online storage so you can see them on your computer at the same time you are writing them on the phone, all the better - you can take screenshots and add them to your notes. But not necessary.
2. Turn on Siri and let her write a transcript of the lab. Don’t bother with other dictation software (like dragon) because they do not recognize the medical terminology Siri recognizes.
3. Take pictures of every screen that has any sort of text on it. You will need these for your quiz, and it still may not be easy.
4. You need teo computers for this course for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons is so that you can take the quiz on one computer while searching those notes Siri took on the other computer. Yes, you are permitted to use your notes when taking the lab quiz (I think it’s like 10 questions in 20 minutes or something and, did I mention it’s ridiculously specific?).
You are not supposed to use any notes or materials during the test, but (as an experienced test taker) I am certain they have amped up the difficulty of the questions so that the test is difficult to complete in the time allotted, even if you are reasonably bright and have studied diligently, done all of the assignments and reviewed them diligently, and EVEN WITH the benefit of using notes. (Do not assume for one minute you could skip studying the materials and pass the test just using the notes. I would theorize the test would be difficult to do well on even if you had studied diligently, made practice quizzes for yourself, AND also had searchable access to the entire unit of materials on a second computer during the test.) Someone like myself might choose to go a different direction with their studies rather than resorting to those sorts of strategies, but I am from an older generation (I’m told the use of unauthorized technology is just expected by teachers and the difficulty of tests is ratcheted up to compensate. I believe this is true with portage and it places an unfair burden on more traditionally minded students who take the “ no notes“ rule seriously. (In case it’s not obvious from above, these tests are not proctored in any way.)
I WOULD assume I am just more stupid than I thought (or which my previous degrees indicated), but I found similarly difficult classes I took locally were much, much, much easier than the ones I took through Portage. Tests were hard enough that a substantial percentage of the class made C’s or failed, but I was able to make A’s without needing extra help. So, whatever the cause, taking online classes at portage is a different ball game from taking live classes.
ALSO, be sure to copy all of your completed tests into your study notes because they will help a ton with your final.
Last, for your tablet, purchase the affordable app “Drawboard PDF” and use it for reading and making notes on your PDFs. Nothing else comes even close to matching it’s ease and versatility (this is for using a stylus/ pen). You can zoom in on white space in the margin and write as many notes as you like, as well as underlining and highlighting in any color you choose. I also purchased the more expensive ($129 on sale) adobe acrobat PDF editor, and it makes me wish I had purchased it years ago because it can eliminate every annoying thing about working with PDFs I’ve ever experienced. But for annotating PDFs, nothing comes close to draw board.
But for annotating PDFs, nothing comes close to drawboard.