In the midst of the hustle and bustle of modern society, many students are opting to study education online rather than attend a traditional brick-and-mortar university. Although getting your degree online can be achieved, it is not any easier than studying at a brick and mortar isntitution. In fact, having the self control and motivation to study and complete your deliverables on time can be much more difficult without a professor present to remind you of deadlines and help you face to face. This is why I recommend an online education study plan before attempting to study online.
There are a number of reasons to study education online and attend an online college. Flexibility is usually the top priority for most students who study online, either because of their busy schedules or current career obligations. For example, online colleges offer opportunities to stay-at-home mothers and people working multiple jobs. Such schools give a chance to those who are unable to attend a physical college but still desire an education.
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages when one chooses to study education online. One distinct advantage is the aforementioned flexibility when it comes to having to show up to classes and lectures. Students attending an online university typically work at their own pace and may not face deadlines as strict as those of a physical university. With this in mind, however, students online do not get the face-to-face experience of an instructor or a classroom. Some may consider the day-to-day interactions between instructor and student to be essential to the learning process.
Personally I believe that you can gain just as much value from studying online as you can from attending a physical institution. Now, that value comes in different forms, a couple of which I will bring up, again. It is not debateable that students attending an institution and receiving face time with professors are in turn gaining educational value from the face time that an online student would not get. On the other hand, an online student will gain much value from learning time management skills, and self control while progressing through their online education. The online student will have to work under circumstances and in situations that the standard university student would never experience. An online student will gain much educational value from creating online education study plans, not only in learning to plan but also in keeping on top of their tasks!
Furthermore, an online student would typically lose much of the social aspect of university, whether it be discussing matters face-to-face with classmates, forming traditional study groups or meeting for group projects. With this in mind, however, some students may prefer the online classroom environment to that of a physical college. Most online universities go at lengths to make sure that students that study education online can e-mail and chat with classmates and professors on a regular basis to stay connected.
It’s heavily debated whether or not a degree from an online university holds the same weight as a degree from a physical university. Most online colleges are for-profit, meaning that the schools are seeking to make money and are typically considered to be more expensive than a traditional college. Furthermore, most online colleges also have an open-enrollment admissions policy, meaning that rather than competing against other students academically as one usually would when applying to a traditional college, students must only meet certain criteria such as having a high school diploma. Such policies have generally given online universities a poor reputation when it comes to their degree programs. For example, the University of Phoenix saw a 30% drop in enrollment last year due to students reporting high debt and few job prospects.
There are a number of online education programs, however, that do hold clout. Many of these stem from current brick-and-mortar colleges. Such schools include the University of Texas, Colorado State, Penn State, Arizona State and Florida State University. Many times these online programs, that are backed with huge resources from their affiliated brick and mortar schools, offer great online education study tools such as online books, video chatting with professors, virtual group projects and more.
Online colleges and universities have their ups and downs, yet ultimately provide flexibility for students seeking an education. The clout or value of an online degree varies greatly between programs, yet an online college may be the only option for some students. There’s much to consider when one decides whether or not to study education online.