Is online education just as good as traditional college education?

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  1. profile image0
    Contriceposted 12 years ago

    I recently went back to the university I graduated from a little over 2 years ago to visit my old advisor  I informed her that I am now in school online getting my masters in technology instruction.  She was so proud of me that she decided to call the technology professor to brag on me.  So I tell him that I am in school getting my masters in technology instruction.  He is also excited until he hears that I am getting my masters online.  He didn't exactly say it was an inferior education, but the look on his face and the comment of "well, that COULD be good" told me what he was thinking.

    1. wildorangeflower profile image60
      wildorangeflowerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      some people think that online education is not as good as formal education, but to my mind, they are just the same although social interaction with classmates is non existent with online educ. You can always call them and communicate through the internet

      As long as you follow the curricula and instructions and you are on time in submitting requirements, you will be fine.

      1. JulieBMack profile image60
        JulieBMackposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I received my Master's online - in many ways it is actually harder because you have to do more assignments since you are not in a classroom.  I have written a few eHow articles and one hub on this.  The degree is the same though - no difference.  It is moslty just a personal preference.

        1. profile image0
          Contriceposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, it is very tedious.

        2. wildorangeflower profile image60
          wildorangeflowerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks for that information. How about your other classmates how often did you interact with them -- through the internet? or how did you consulted with your professor?

    2. profile image0
      LegendaryHeroposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      As long as you learn the same material I don't see the problem with it.

    3. Freeway Flyer profile image83
      Freeway Flyerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It can work well for self-motivated, conscientious students. The main problem that I see is the issue of academic honesty. It might not be all that difficult to get someone else to do the work for you. It can also be easy for teachers to slack off.

      I like the idea of hybrid classes in which you have traditional instruction mixed with online activities. I've had some success teaching these types of classes myself.

  2. livewithrichard profile image74
    livewithrichardposted 12 years ago

    It depends on the program and how much interaction there is between the instructor and other students in the program.  Interaction is key because you can learn from the questions that you might not ask.

    As far as I'm concerned an online education is just as useful as a traditional education. Also it's the only way I can fit additional education into my schedule.

    I'm considering an online Master's in Psychology.

    1. profile image0
      Contriceposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      That's exactly why I'm doing it online.  Working a full time and part time job.  There was no way I was going to add sitting in a classroom for 1-2 hours a few times a week.  NO WAY!

  3. dashingscorpio profile image84
    dashingscorpioposted 12 years ago

    It really doesn't matter in the big scheme of things.
    Not everyone learns best in a "traditional setting" and for others sometimes you go with a route that better suits your time and budget constraints.

    What matters most is that the curriculum meets national standards and the student is able to retain/demostrate he or she has mastered the course.

    Many years ago way before there were internet courses there were "correspondance courses" which allowed students to read and study "at their own pace".
    At the end of the course they took a test and mailed it in.
    Naturally attending school in a non-traditional manner does not garner the same respect in a lot of folks eyes

    I have a friend who feels any school that advertises on TV is inferior to any State, Private, or Ivy League school.
    Naturally this would include schools such as University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, and National University to name a few.

    However what is most likely to determine how successful you are in your chosen career is not the school you graduated from but your "ambition" and "determination".

  4. Teresa McGurk profile image60
    Teresa McGurkposted 12 years ago

    Many professors don't like it, as it isn't as good a teaching medium as a live classroom presentation or interaction.

    I can see that it would be great for a motivated student who just loves to study. I wouldn't mind taking online courses.

    But I would hate teaching them. Smart classrooms these days can allow immediate access to online resources to illustrate or expand on what the professor is talking about; now that we're past the experimental phase (dropped connections, faulty audio, you name it), greater spontaneity can be achieved in the classroom--so any question a student has off the cuff can be addressed.

    I wouldn't like interacting with students by email or passive review of their work, for the same reasons Freeway Flyer states. It could be anybody's work. But if the students and professor could be on live web cams, wherever they are, at least once a week, then I might be able to get to know the students a little better.

    Each individual can have a different learning method (visual retention, thinking in words and phrases rather than pictures, needing repetition, etc) and different strengths in any specific area. One of the most rewarding processes for a professor can be assessing and then encouraging different students in different ways to achieve often radically different goals, all in the same classroom.  I don't see how I could do that online.

  5. JulieBMack profile image60
    JulieBMackposted 12 years ago

    If it is accredited and a good program - it is the same in the eyes of the world.  However, depending on your needs, it may or may not be a good fit.  There are pros and cons to both.  I actually just did a hub on this!  HA HA  LOL

    1. profile image0
      Contriceposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think most people would agree that with the changing world it's only natural that the way we educated ourselves will change.  When i did attend a traditional school, I took some online courses.  Online schooling was on the rise.  When I went to a traditional school, I emailed my papers to my instructor all the time and participated in video seminars and conferences.  Who says that everyone has to be educated the same way? I think it very rude, arrogant, and ignorant of people to look down their noses at online education as an inferior education.  This is the way of the future, especially for graduate adult education.

  6. Shadesbreath profile image81
    Shadesbreathposted 12 years ago

    I think it's a matter of expectations. Having taken online courses and traditional courses personally, and having interacted with students and with employees with both types, there is a difference.

    If someone just needs to know the essentials of something to meet qualifications, online is great.  However, learning isn't just about reading and regurgitating.  It's about engaging all the senses and becoming immersed in the material in real and physical ways to build neural connections in memory that embed and cross-connect along various channels enabling maximum access to and capitalization of that information and, as much as possible, permanence.

    I think to say that online degrees are "the same" as traditionally earned degrees is an overstatement. A traditional class has access to all forms and educational tools (electronic and other).  Online classes do not.  Period.  They are limited by the very definition of what they are.

    I know I'd rather have my lawyer or accountant or dentist or whatever have a traditional education over an Internet one.  Especially if they were brand new.  Maybe ten or fifteen years later, the difference wouldn't be so big given experience, but out of the gate, I believe traditional has to be better given the many different ways in which information is processed.

    Some may argue that it comes down to the individual and their work ethic and mental capacity either way... but, since humans are what they are, the averages play out in both types and therefore cancel each other out.

  7. Beelzedad profile image59
    Beelzedadposted 12 years ago

    With physics, it would be difficult to do just online courses because the students need to conduct experiments to observe for themselves the effects and see theories in action. Most wouldn't have the necessary equipment at home to do those experiments. smile

  8. akirchner profile image93
    akirchnerposted 12 years ago

    I think on-line education depends on the person as to what you can expect to get out of it or the 'value' factor.  If you are well disciplined and you treat your on-line educational classes and lessons as if you were going to a classroom and doing the work there, you should glean just as much from an on-line education as a traditional in-class experience.

    I have taken a couple of on-line courses and I do think that just as in real life, it all depends on taking the right course and getting the right instructor! Someone can have a very flat style of teaching and you may not learn as much but then someone else will make you fall in love with education all over again because everything 'pops'. 

    Most of us are so very busy nowadays that I think on-line education is a bonus for most of us who want to enrich our lives and earn credits.  It is important though to make sure that we do treat it as seriously as 'bricks and mortar' learning though!

  9. profile image47
    sandraggposted 12 years ago

    Well, the jury is still out on the subject. But I think online degrees are a lot more respected now than they used to be a few years ago. One of the biggest reasons for this acceptance is the improvement in the quality of education imparted through this medium. In most cases, online and distance learning degrees have the same course content as their on-campus versions. For example, the distance learning courses I took at University adhere to strict quality criteria and have the same course content that their classroom variants would have.

    1. CollegePrepU profile image60
      CollegePrepUposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The key is "accreditation".  That should be first and foremost when deciding if online schooling is to be considered quality.

      As far as "the same" as a traditional degree?  That is something that will be debated for a while.

      The bottom line is that it comes down to the employer and who is doing the hiring.  We've seen companies that won't touch an applicant with an "online degree"...others don't weigh the educational background as heavy as the interview, referrences etc...

      If online college is your only option because of other factors in your life, it's better than no degree at all.

  10. Ruchira profile image74
    Ruchiraposted 12 years ago

    I feel if the online education's curriculum is as good as the one going to a traditional college then, why waste time in commuting, and sitting in classes and wait up for the professor to come.

    It is a good way to be eco-friendly to our environment and also save up some minutes for ourselves.


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