Table of Contents
- 9 Common Myths About Online Degrees
- The Bottom Line
For as long as we have known it, learning has occurred within four walls, with a blackboard, desks, notebooks, and pens. With this in mind, it is natural that misconceptions or myths surround this new approach to learning—online learning.
However, these myths are just that—myths. An online program can be just as rewarding and educational as traditional courses, with the additional benefit of choosing your own schedule. So here are nine common online college myths debunked.
9 Common Myths About Online Degrees
We are here to assist you in better understanding some of the most prevalent misconceptions about online programs and, ideally, help you decide if it is worthwhile to pursue an online degree.
Here are nine common misconceptions about online degrees.
1. Employers don’t value online degrees
Employers may have been suspicious about online learning at first, especially in fields where a degree is a prerequisite, like teaching or healthcare. But over the past few years, online education has become increasingly popular, and what once looked unusual is now the new normal.
The stigma against online degrees is fading as more employers and those with recruiting authority have earned degrees online. Additionally, many contemporary technologies used in the workplace are simulated in the virtual classroom. As a result, in some circumstances, an employer might value online education even more than traditional.
2. They are not accredited
Many continue to believe that online courses are of poorer quality and are held to a different standard than traditional courses. Yes, there are online courses that are badly organized and poorly designed and deliver their content in a disorganized manner. But for traditional classes, the same holds.
The truth is that many online courses go through a design process to ensure that the content—such as readings, lectures, and tests—is presented in a way that complies with best practices for online learning and learning in general.
So, make sure you earn your online degree from a recognized and accreditated college.
3. They are easier
Students might enroll in online courses believing they will easily receive good grades, which is the most widespread misperception about these programs. However, they quickly face the reality that these courses are as demanding—if not more so—than those taken in person.
The exact amount of work and expectations for quality are placed on students as they would in face-to-face classes, though frequently in less time. This implies that students don’t miss out on any information and have just as many opportunities to study it as they would in a face-to-face setting, if not more.
It can even be more challenging to earn a degree or certificate online, depending on your circumstances. While taking classes online gives students with other responsibilities unmatched flexibility and convenience, the downside of this freedom is that you’ll need more self-discipline to manage your time wisely.
4. You have to teach yourself
While you can take control over your learning with online courses, your professors will still be there to direct you even though you aren’t physically sitting in front of them. Like in a traditional classroom, online instructors must keep their students interested in the material and teach it to them.
Because you are not obligated to attend in-person classes, it frequently takes extra care to ensure that the syllabus, unit structure, and assignment requirements are as clear as possible. It then depends on the student if they have questions and need extra clarification, just like in traditional classes.
5. You can’t do networking
Meeting new people and the connections they can help you make are two underappreciated advantages of schooling. Many people rely on their networks from college to find work and find out about good opportunities. Developing relationships in an online course may initially seem complicated, but the intentionality demanded by online platforms makes network creation simpler.
A good program will have attentive advisers and administrators (along with professors) who can provide career guidance and connections; however, this is only sometimes true of all online schools.
6. You don’t interact with others
Online courses and online learning, in general, strongly emphasize peer-to-peer learning. There are several ways for students to communicate with one another, including discussion boards, group projects, group presentations via web conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype, and participation in various forms of peer review.
Many online courses demand frequent peer interactions on a weekly or unit-by-unit basis, so there are many chances to engage with and pick up knowledge from other students through forums.
For some, the forum entries were more engaging than just the in-class discussions because, unlike in-person interactions, writing gives everyone a chance to collect their thoughts and express themselves more deliberately.
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7. It’s all lectures
Many programs include video lectures, but online learning encompasses much more, with some requiring hands-on work, perfect for all you kinesthetic learners out there. You may be given projects in certain online programs that closely resemble your work in the workplace. This allows you to put what you’ve studied into practice and show that you understand the material.
Story-driven videography and expert-led fieldwork can be excellent tools to bring the outdoor world into the online classroom. Additionally, digital whiteboarding technology can be used to engage with the material displayed on the screen.
8. Professors don’t engage as much
Nothing is more annoying than not being able to get in touch with your instructor when you need clarification on the content for that week, when you need a deadline extended, or when something isn’t available in the course when it should be.
Fortunately, most online teachers recognize the need to keep in touch with their students regularly and provide various opportunities to do so. There are numerous ways to get in touch with teachers, including email, Q&A forums, virtual office hours, and regular announcements. Your instructor is only a click away, so don’t worry.
Additionally, a professor’s office hours are frequently held in a typical brick-and-mortar university, where students are welcome to stop by, say hi, and ask questions. Depending on the instructor, you can speak with them after class or send them an email.
9. You don’t have the same resources as those on traditional degrees
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Your university and instructors provide the materials just like they would for any other course. You might also be given a reading list of books to buy to enhance your coursework, as they do in traditional classes.
Sources such as digital texts, online journals, video resources, and online lectures are available from your home’s convenience, thanks to online universities.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, if you are planning to enroll in an online program but are worried about the stigma around online courses, don’t be. There are plenty of accredited online programs that offer quality sources and teaching, which will guarantee you employment in the future.