By Zoe Taylor
There are a lot of misconceptions about online education, and as a result the idea of studying online might seem unattractive. Today I’m going to name, shame and rebut those myths, so you can feel confident about studying online.
1. Online courses are easier than in-classroom courses
Completely untrue. With the number of students undergoing online courses increasing on a daily basis, the demand for quality is increasing. In fact, about 85% of faculty state that it takes a lot more time and effort to develop and online course than a traditional class, and according to a survey conducted by the Sloan Consortium, approximately 77% of academic leaders state that learning results in online courses are equal or superior to traditional classes.
2. Online students are unsuited to traditional universities
Wrong again! This statement is completely redundant, because more and more universities are offering online courses and degree programs, and traditional students are now taking advantage of online education – 32% of all college students have taken at least one online course.
3. Online courses are for antisocial people
Nope! Of all the reasons people state that they studying online, not having to talk to people is not mentioned once. 35% of people do it to accommodate their work schedule, 27% of people do it for convenience, 12% say it’s to accommodate the needs of their family, 10% do it because they can study at their own pace, and 6% of people state that they undertake online education due to the lower costs. Do any of these reasons seem antisocial to you?
4. Online learning is isolated and lonely
Not even a little bit! They students have access to chatrooms, which allow them to talk to peers who are also undertaking the course, and they are assigned a mentor, whom they can connect with via Skype. Plus, what could possible be lonely about being able to study in a cafe or while your loved ones are in the same room?
5. Online course credits are not accepted or respected by employees
I’d like to know where these statements are coming from, because they’re so far from the truth it’s ridiculous! Technology is becoming more a part of the work life each day. Smart phones, tablets, online training and conferences conducted online are just a few examples of how technology and the internet is incorporated into businesses these days – what’s so different about online learning? According to a survey conducted by the society for Human Resource Management, 55% of organisations that were surveyed said that whether someone’s degree was obtained on-line or on-campus did not make a difference, 73% believe that courses taken online are equally credible to traditional Uni courses and 79% stated that they had hired someone with an online degree in the last 12 months.
6. Good professors don’t want to teach online
Pardon? Experienced teachers are just as likely to be teaching online as those with less than 10 years of experience. 34% of college faculty have taught online courses and 64% of faculty say that a lot more time and effort is required to teach online, which therefore creates an exciting challenge for them. Need I say more?
7. Respected schools don’t offer online courses
Now this just makes me mad. Online learning is becoming increasingly mainstream, and more colleges and universities aren’t just offering online courses, but they’re in fact offering complete online programs. Approximately 64% of traditional colleges and universities offer online degree programs, and about 68% of academic leaders state that online classes are key parts of their long-term teaching plans.
Hopefully this has cleared up some grey areas in terms of what is and is not true about studying online, because those that do undertake online courses really reap the benefits.
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