According to a recent study, about 5.3 million American students enrolled in at least one online course this past fall. While many online educational programs may differ from one another, there are a few key points of online education that can be taken into consideration wherever you decide to enroll.
Myth #1. The quality is not as good as in-person classes.
Online courses and their professors go through a rigorous certification process in order to get the green light to be an accredited course for students. Academic standard, especially in a respected institution’s eyes, is something to never drop the ball on. Online courses do not mean easier classes.
Myth #2. Online credits aren’t transferrable to other schools.
Students will have issues transferring courses from one institution to another, depending on the state or public/private situation of the school. This is regardless of online or in-person credits earned.
Myth #3. Cheating is more common.
Experts say cheating is not more likely to happen with online courses than it is with traditional ones.
There are measures that some institutions take in order to monitor their online students, such as web cams during exams, or other tools to spot plagiarism.
Myth #4. You’ll never see the instructor in person.
Depending on a student’s location, one can meet the instructor of an online course. Typically, professors are hybrid as they teach in-person and online.
Myth #5. Employers don’t value online degrees.
Marty Lawlor, director of the online executive MBA program a the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Saunders College of Business says, “Some employers, like the general population, hold positions on online education that tend to be rooted more in 1990 notions of online learning than on current trends and realities.”
However, Lawlor says that in his experience, employers usually support employees who are enrolled in programs that have unimpeachable academic credentials, as some companies will even sponsor students to pursue education online.
The important takeaway: It is beneficial to know your personal learning skills, your time management skills, and your follow through tendencies. Basically, know yourself before getting into an online program that will ask of you a different set of skills that an in-person course may not.