Frequently Asked Questions

How does online education work on a day-to-day basis?

Instructional methods, course requirements, and learning technologies can vary significantly from one online program to the next, but the vast bulk of them use a learning management system (LMS) to deliver lectures and materials, monitor student progress, assess comprehension, and accept student work. LMS providers design these platforms to accommodate a multitude of instructor needs and preferences.

Is online education as effective as face-to-face instruction?

Online education may seem relatively new, but years of research suggests it can be just as effective as traditional coursework, and often more so. According to a U.S. Department of Education analysis of more than 1,000 learning studies, online students tend to outperform classroom-based students across most disciplines and demographics. Another major review published the same year found that online students had the advantage 70 percent of the time, a gap authors projected would only widen as programs and technologies evolve.

Do employers accept online degrees?

All new learning innovations are met with some degree of scrutiny, but skepticism subsides as methods become more mainstream. Such is the case for online learning. Studies indicate employers who are familiar with online degrees tend to view them more favorably, and more employers are acquainted with them than ever before. The majority of colleges now offer online degrees, including most public, not-for-profit, and Ivy League universities. Online learning is also increasingly prevalent in the workplace as more companies invest in web-based employee training and development programs.

Is online education more conducive to cheating?

The concern that online students cheat more than traditional students is perhaps misplaced. When researchers at Marshall University conducted a study to measure the prevalence of cheating in online and classroom-based courses, they concluded, “Somewhat surprisingly, the results showed higher rates of academic dishonesty in live courses.” The authors suggest the social familiarity of students in a classroom setting may lessen their sense of moral obligation.

How do I know if online education is right for me?

Choosing the right course takes time and careful research no matter how one intends to study. Learning styles, goals, and programs always vary, but students considering online courses must consider technical skills, ability to self-motivate, and other factors specific to the medium. Online course demos and trials can also be helpful.

What technical skills do online students need?

Our platform typically designed to be as user-friendly as possible: intuitive controls, clear instructions, and tutorials guide students through new tasks. However, students still need basic computer skills to access and navigate these programs. These skills include: using a keyboard and a mouse; running computer programs; using the Internet; sending and receiving email; using word processing programs; and using forums and other collaborative tools. Most online programs publish such requirements on their websites. If not, an admissions adviser can help.

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