Important Facts About Online Universities
Online universities are institutions that offer courses on the Web for earning a degree. Online education is still fairly new and growing in popularity every day, but many people remain unsure about this form of higher education. Myths and false information about online education continue to circulate, leaving potential students confused or doubtful about distance learning. To clarify any confusion, here are some facts about online education.
One of the more widely known facts about online universities is that all work is done online. You are never required to physically attend class, except for students who are enrolled in a medical program and have to complete in-person clinical work. You’ll take quizzes, tests and listen to or read lectures online. Many times, students will also participate in online discussions and live chats with their instructors and classmates. These online conversations are used to supplement traditional forms of lectures and classroom discussions. Students need to have access to a computer to complete online classes, in addition to downloading reading materials. While it is more convenient to own a computer, it is not necessary because students can use anyone’s computer from any location. You can attend class at anytime because courses are available 24/7. This accessibility and convenient schedule also allows you to learn at your own pace. Whether you prefer to work ahead of your classmates or do class work much slower, you have the choice. This is extremely beneficial for all students, especially those who work part-time or full-time jobs because they can access their work and attend class whenever it’s convenient for them. While online colleges are very flexible and accommodating to your busy lifestyle, you still have to complete assignments on enforced deadlines and take exams on specific test days.
Another fact of online education is that your accredited online degree is valuable and will most likely be recognized by employers. Some people, including employers, may be skeptical about online colleges because they do not think it is a reliable form of higher education. But, this just isn’t so. Online students are taught much of the same material, if not more, and undergo the same rigorous testing and certification processes as traditional students. In fact, it has recently been noted that online education may be more engaging than traditional campus-based learning. A 2009 study by SRI International for the Department of Education researched a group of adult learners who studied college and adult continuing-education programs in both traditional and online settings from 1996 to 2008. Over the 12-year span, the report suggests that “students who engaged in all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those who took the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.” This study not only shows the growth and sustainability of online education, but also the beneficial impact it has on students.