Online education is often seen as the red-headed stepchild of higher education. Ever since the early 1900s, when correspondence courses began coming into style, distance education — or any education that isn’t done in the classroom — has been considered inferior. But is this criticism fair? Is there something about distance education, especially online education, which warrants it being thought of the postsecondary second banana? The purpose of this podcast is to respond to these questions by exploring three of the most common myths associated with online education, and determine which — if any — has any basis in fact.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR & NARRATOR

Benjamin Welch has been a college instructor in writing and composition for nearly six years. When he’s not teaching or playing golf, he offers advice for students seeking information about online education and online degrees.

8 comments on “The 3 Myths of Online Education

  • Thanks for your honest. Some of my thoughts of online education have been proven wrong.

  • Great podcast (“the 3 myths of online education”), I had no idea online education had come this far…very informative.

  • Good post. You make some great points that most people do not fully understand.

    “Online education is often seen as the red-headed stepchild of higher education. Ever since the early 1900s, when correspondence courses began coming into style, distance education — or any education that isn’t done in the classroom — has been considered inferior. But is this criticism fair? Is there something about distance education, especially online education, which warrants it being thought of the postsecondary second banana? The purpose of this podcast is to respond to these questions by exploring three of the most common myths associated with online education, and determine which — if any — has any basis in fact.”

    I like how you explained that. Very helpful. Thanks.

  • This man WORKS for an online college, therefore he isn’t exactly a neutral, unbiased resource! If you are applying for jobs with applicants who graduated from First Tier, Big Ten and Ivy League Universities – and your diploma is an online degree from Phoenix University or DeFry College, let’s face it….you won’t even get an interview.

    There is absoultely no comparision with online study and being in a classroom with live, in-person discussion with other students and a professor. I’ve taken numerous online classes and found it quite isolating and even downright boring. Online study amounts to reading and writing in total isolation. The online discussion board forum for students to post comments is hardly a substitute for sitting in a classroom with other students for an hour or 1 1/2 hours and having complex discussions. The other aspect you do not get in online courses is breaking up into small groups during class time to work on projects.

    There is no “study group” in online education. When I was having difficulty with harder classes – it was always attending “study group” with other students which raised my grade an entire level.

    I understand working parents, folks holding down full time jobs, disabled people, people who live in rural areas – all of these people may not be able to complete college without an online degree. It does serve a purpose – but I wonder just how COMPETITIVE you are going to be in this horrendous job market with 10% national unemployment – if all your study was online?

    To me – it’s a cyberspace equivalent of a mail order correspondence course.

    I recommend taking HYBRID classes, which are a course that does meet in person for class meetings – but also has an online componenet. Before you commit to an online degree, try taking a few online courses at your local community college and see exactly how dramatic the difference is between online learning and in class instruction. Another option is “Distance Learning” which uses watching classes broadcast on cable TV Public Access channels. At least you can SEE the professor on TV – these courses also allow students who are at home to participate through conference calls on the telephone – so you can actually speak up in class, ask questions, make comments regarding other students in class comments.

    Online education isn’t necessarily any less expensive than traditional bricks and mortar colleges. I checked out Phoenix University and it was the same price as my local state university!

    I’d rather take a couple of online classes offered at a traditional bricks and mortar college – and receive a conventional, traditional degree – than get some rinky-dink degree from DeVry or Phoenix University.

  • princess fifi trixibelle,

    In response to your post I agree and disagree. First of all it takes great discipline to attend GOOD QUALITY online universities. It’s fast paced and very cut and dry (2 things I like best about it). There are no unnecessary electives; it’s structured to get you through the course with the information needed.

    Second, a great deal of the online schools also have real campuses and third your degree is not stamped “ONLINE”.

    A community college here in my home town has an online degree program in which you can complete you entire 2 yr business degree without stepping foot on campus and guess what it will state the name of the college on the degree not that it was taken online.

    I too had my doubts about online degrees. I felt they were the lazy way around getting up and going to class. After appyling and taking a few courses I learned how dedicated you have to be. There are no reminders written on the white or black board to remind you when your reports or assignments are due. It’s all based and YOUR time management. In my opinion the work force is operated by more and more people who have real lives outside of work and who decide to further their education while working and online courses make it possible.

    Online degrees from reputatable online universities, although costly, are a great way to get ahead.

    At the end of the day its to each its own. The decision is yours. I’m not concerned about not getting employment because my degree is from an online (accredited) university, but maybe I’m safe because I already have 7 years of work experience in the field of my degree??? Nah, my degree was earned from the same sweat as a student attendind a traditional class.

  • Thanks for the posting Gee,

    D-I-S-C-P-L-I-N-E to the 3rd power! anyone who thinks that online classes should be looked at as inferior to the traditional school setting really needs to take at least one class online and see the difference. I have done both and I have enjoyed them both for different reasons. Online learning is not for everyone; especially a person that needs the auditory part of the clss to comprehend. Once you become an adult and know your learning style you aae more equiped to make decision like online versus traditional. I have gone to three schools and have finally found a home at Ashford University they have 5 week classes transferring from Kaplan where each class was 10 weeks was a drastic change, but I accepted the challenge because all I saw was the more assignments I do and the harder I work has a realistic payoff; I can see the end of the tunnel and can get closer faster if I like it is all up to me…..traditional school doesn’t give that option, no matter how hard you work or fast you will still do 9 to 18wks a semester.

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