Education Technology advances has made it possible for many universities to offer their courses online for distance learners. The result is an unprecedented growth of online course offerings, continuing education, and MOOCs. What was once only a future possibility is now a reality for thousands of people who choose to take an online degree because of lifestyle, career or geographical constraints. However this has created some myths about online education.
It’s important for universities to protect their brand, their integrity and their accreditation. How can universities ensure their online courses are held to the same standard as live courses? Because online education is a new advancement, many people are naturally suspicious over its integrity and ultimate effectiveness.
Let’s clear things up.
#1 Stamp of Approval
Universities and organizations offering online degrees should bear a stamp of approval, a regional accreditation for example, as listed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
When choosing an online degree, the first thing you should be looking for is what academic standards of quality that university and course meets. This will ensure the scholars, the curriculum, and the services offered are top quality.
#2 Lack of Interaction – No personal attention
Many consider online degrees to be of lesser quality because there’s no way of giving each distant student the attention they deserve during the course.
The truth is that the students themselves can drive much of the interaction. The school’s approach to online learning, the availability of the instructor, and level of enthusiasm can also be a factor. Most online students rely heavily on forum, social media and online discussion groups to make up for the missing experience of being in a classroom setting. Combining instructor engagement, and communication with other students online can make an online course seem just as interactive but it requires the same level of effort.
#3 Learning Outcomes Compromised
Because of the medium used, many believe that online learning is passive and as such the learning outcomes are poor. Others also believe that knowledge and skills gained from online degrees lack integrity because it’s just easier to fake attendance or cheat in an online class.
The truth is, reputable universities and organizations that offer online degrees are actually using state-of-the-art proctoring services to ensure that the student learns and progresses and that the organization gains in credibility and integrity.
#4 Easier than campus-based degrees
It’s thought that taking an online degree will be less challenging and demanding for the student. The student will only attend when they feel like it, cheat easily, and even have others take their class for them.
Online degrees offered by reputable educational institutions can be more challenging than class-based ones. The students assume a more responsible role in order to obtain their degree. It takes a different level of self-discipline and commitment to complete an online course.
#5 You need to be tech-savvy
Another misconception about online degrees is that to complete one you need advanced computer skills. In fact, most universities that offer online degrees do so through interactive and intuitive user interfaces. Online courses are structured around familiar, user-friendly learning environments and offer consistent support to students, from video tutorials to online support.
ProctorFree offers, scalable, secure exam proctoring solutions that are both easy to use and affordable for students. Additionally, the results are easy for faculty to navigate upon completion of the exams.