What Does Seat Time Serve?
It was a rainy weekend, so I thought I’d take online classes to meet my continuing education requirements. I’ve always been a fast test taker, often trying to be the first person in the classroom to bring my answers to the proctor first. I’m one of those annoying people, but if I pass the test, should I be penalized for taking the test fast? For my first appraisal licensing exam years ago, I finished it in around 40 minutes, but we were given 2 hours to take it. Should I have been forced to sit at my desk and wait until the two hours were up? New York State didn’t think so.
Yet New York State thinks so for taking online classes. I took a three-hour course in 52 minutes and am not allowed to take the final exam yet. The following dialog box says it all.
I have to log on and click around until I have accumulated 2.5 hours of “seat” time. In other words, they are punishing people that can take a class faster than average. Why? Presumably, a professional had rated the course as three hours, and the state agreed. If someone can prove they understood the material by passing all the chapter quizzes, why should they be forced to waste 98 additional minutes? I can’t ever get back those 98 minutes.
Are appraisers children? Wait, don’t answer that.
What purpose does “waiting” serve (a.k.a. known as “seat time”)?
- I pay the same course fee as everyone else.
- I must pass the same chapter quizzes as everyone else to take the final.
- Some people take tests faster than others, right?
Is the purpose of a continuing education learning experience only to sit in a chair for a designated period? If I went through the materials and passed all the chapter quizzes in 52 minutes, why do I have to waste another 98 minutes?
The lack of waiting required for online classes has always been a breath of fresh air to me. Now that benefit seems to be over.
As much as I’d love to blame McKissock, this is a NY state requirement and common across the US. It is time for the 55 states and territories to rethink licensing requirements. A time calculation should not be part of math if a student takes a class and can pass the test on the materials presented. Since there is zero empirical evidence that those additional 98 minutes will make me understand the course materials any better, taking away 98 minutes of my potential livelihood is wrong.
Hopefully, state regulators will look at this lack of fairness in the CE licensing process.
- Beware of Bifurcated Appraisals - August 4, 2023
- And Why Is the Second Appraisal Always the “Correct Value?” - June 9, 2023
- Certified Appraisers vs. Unlicensed Data Collectors - April 25, 2023