Archive for October, 2004

Personalized approaches in online learning

Oct 28th, 2004

From Reading Online, via Distance Educator comes a study about the nature of instruction for an online course. It might give some of you the idea of how your own courses function, as well as possible areas of concern if you are thinking of enrolling in an online university program.

The study described in this article explored the nature of instruction in an online course in a teacher education program. Participants included the university instructor and 16 classroom teachers enrolled in a graduate-level literacy assessment course. Data included online bulletin board messages, e-mail messages, informal interviews, chat transcripts, the instructor's teaching journal, and all modules constructed for the online course. Constant-comparative analysis revealed instructional content related to (a) the course focus of assessment and instruction for struggling readers, and (b) how to learn effectively in the online environment. Specific categories within these areas emerged with respect to the design of the course and the instructional interactions between the instructor and the teachers.

Getting the competitive edge with an online degree

Oct 26th, 2004

From Online Certification, Education and Distance Learning a story about using online education to get the competitive edge.

Development of an individual is more dependent on his knowledge and skills. Especially to prosper in the new millennium, one must aggressively address the challenges put by the ever-changing world. As it is a known fact that tomorrow's challenges can never be met with yesterday's technique or technology, you need to enhance your skill continuously.

If you wish a competitive edge in tomorrow's world, the traditional education will force you to quit your present job. But you may not be keen about losing your pay. Moreover, there is no guarantee that you would get precisely a better job or at least the same job back when you return from academia.

However, advancements in telecommunication technologies have created opportunities whereby educators in higher education establishments can expand their educational process beyond the traditional classroom, and deliver instructions and training to geographically diverse aspirants – locally, nationally, and even internationally. This integration of telecommunication technologies into a distance teaching and learning process made it possible for you to earn a college degree online and or get a Master's degree there, without leaving your home or office. You can earn an online degree without attending classes in the same amount of time or less than the traditional college course work.

Blow whistles on fake college degrees

Oct 26th, 2004

A good point over at the Virtual University Gazette, as there is a lot of confusion out there about what degrees are legit or not. All the ones listed at this site are top distance education providers who have a lot to lose by doing fraudulent business, so they can be trusted I'm sure they're also interested in cracking down on the scam degrees as it gives all of them a bad name.

"If you're got an email account I can guarantee you've received a pitch from a fraudulent online college or a diploma mill in the last 30 days," assures online degree expert Vicky Phillips.
Diploma mills are bogus online universities that sell college diplomas ~ the piece of paper itself rather than the educational experience ~ to any applicant who presents a valid credit card.

Phillips, who serves as CEO of America's leading online degree clearinghouse, GetEducated.com, LLC, personally receives hundreds of solicitations from fake online colleges each week. In response, her company has launched a new free online service, The Diploma Mill Police (SM).

Accreditation and Transfer issues

Oct 24th, 2004

Over at Degree.net, another great source for finding information on distance education and online universities, Rich Douglas talks about accreditation and transfering credits to from or to other schools.

"Is it accredited?" This is likely the most asked — and most misunderstood — question regarding distance education. Even if the asker can't define accreditation, he knows, in some vague sense, that it relates to the usefulness of a degree. Education is an investment; if someone puts time and money into earning a degree, he wants it to be recognized, to help him reach his goals: in a word, to be useful. Unfortunately, because of the way the system works in the U.S., "accredited" and "useful" do not mean the same thing.

Part of what is misleading about accreditation is the word itself. It sounds so formal, official, definite. It's not. Unlike almost every other country in the world, where it is the government that decides what is and isn't a legitimate institution of higher education, the U.S. does not govern who is and isn't accredited, nor prescribe what degrees are or are not legitimate.

Courses for distance learning librarians

Oct 24th, 2004

Over at LibraryHQ.com there is a great listing for those looking into library degrees via distance learning.

Budgeting for your online degree

Oct 24th, 2004

A few great articles over at About.com's Distance learning website about budgeting for your online degree. They also expand on this with a piece about hidden costs in some online courses.

The biggest budget hit will be tuition. Right?
Right. It won't be cheap, especially if you need a degree from a top echelon institution. For undergraduates, tuition generally ranges from $200 to $350 per unit. For graduate and doctoral courses, tuition will range from $300 to $600, or much more at elite schools or for specialized graduate degrees such as an MBA. For instance, the cost of Duke University's "global" MBA program costs about $62,500. Tuition at the University of Michigan is $48,000 and $23,000 at the University of Phoenix. Online tuition costs are much less at public and/or less known universities. An online MBA from the University of Colorado, denver costs $7,500, and $7,770 from the University of Texas at Dallas.

WSJ guide to business schools

Oct 22nd, 2004

A nice resource at Career Journal listing some of the top business programs.

And here's something I'd never seen before. Admissions Coaches.

Candace Davies was working in the wealth-advisory division at Merrill Lynch when she decided she wanted an M.B.A. Not just any M.B.A., but one from a top-ranked school. Ms. Davis had achieved a lot for someone just four years out of college. At 25, she was bringing in and managing her own high-net-worth accounts. Even so, she thought she'd need help since her GMATs weren't as competitive as she had hoped, her undergrad major was biology and her grades were mediocre.

To gain an extra edge, she sought advice from an admissions consultant, a fast-growing aid for college and graduate-school applicants. The service she hired, Kaplan Inc., a New York-based test-preparation provider, teamed her with a former admissions officer at the University of Rochester's business school, who helped identify those schools that would be a stretch for her to get into and those that better fit her interests and test scores. The counselor also reviewed her essays to make sure they made the most of her Wall Street experiences and coached her on interviews.

In all, Ms. Davies spent nearly $2,000, was Accepted at five of the seven schools she'd chosen and was offered scholarships to four, including the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, where she started this fall.

Experts Weigh In On Distance Learning

Oct 20th, 2004

From back2college.com and Distance Educator

Dr. Walter Seabold, an author and adjunct professor at American University, School of International Service in Washington D.C., has recently gone back to college.

Despite his credentials (a Ph.d in International Relations and Russian studies as well as years of teaching experience), Dr. Seabold has added another feather to his cap – an M.A. in distance learning, which he obtained online at University of Maryland University College. In today's increasingly technology based world, distance learning is becoming an important component for both instructors and students at universities worldwide.

E-learning special – US News and World Report

Oct 20th, 2004

U.S. News and World Report has a nice new special out about online learning. Including an A to Z directory of traditional and virtual schools offering online education.

Here is an article on the blurring line between traditional and online universities.

The mechanical engineering students in Jan Helge Bohn's class at Virginia Tech regularly huddle with teammates at the Technische Universitat in Darmstadt, Germany, using synchronized computers, shared databases, and videoconferencing to brainstorm design concepts for the Opel Signum hatchback. Gifted sixth graders in Chicago can log into Illinois Virtual High School for algebra lessons. And busy professionals in all kinds of fields are rushing online to add credentials-outside of regular business hours and often from the road. E-learning "is a good fit for me," says Sarah Fisher, 23, a driver on the IndyCar racing circuit who's getting her bachelor's in marketing via the Web at Ellis College in New York. "I was able to take a break for the Indianapolis 500."

Business majors resource

Oct 20th, 2004

A great resource over here for any business majors is the Business Majors section of About.com.

Here's something off the front page – Become an MBA and gain.

I know that sounds like the heading of a spammy email. But, there are a lot of benefit that an MBA degree can give you in addition to the potential of a high salary. Find out what these other benefits are.

Ajeet also has lots of nice ranking information and virtually anything you're looking for in this niche.