Online Education: Myths vs. Reality

Though it has been around for more than a decade, online education can still seem scary and full of mysteries for those who are unfamiliar with the concept. But in reality, online education is not confusing at all. In fact, there are many parallels between earning a college degree in the classroom and earning a college degree through the Internet. To get the best idea of what online education really is and how it works, we’re going to break down some of the most common myths associated with Web-based education.

Myth: Employers don’t take online degrees seriously.

Actually, many employers now view online degrees to be just as credible as traditional degrees. In fact, an astonishing 43 percent of 1,545 chief executives and small-business owners interviewed said that a distance education degree is on the same level as a degree earned through a campus-based program, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. More and more employers are coming around to recognizing the merits of online degrees, and it is likely that the numbers of those who accept online degrees will grow as even traditionally campus-based universities begin offering online options.

Myth: Online degrees do not require any real effort to earn.

Though online education spares students from having to sit in a classroom and listen to their professor lecture in front of the blackboard, make no mistake – online education is not a cake walk by any means. They require the same amount of dedication and hard work that classroom-based programs do, and in some ways, online education programs actually demand more out of its students. This is because online students must be independent and make an effort to study and learn on their own time without the guidance of classmates, professors, or parents. The thing to keep in mind is that earning an online college degree still requires that students complete college-level work.

Myth: Online education is inferior to classroom education.

On the contrary, research has shown that online education may actually be more effective than traditional teaching and learning methods. In fact, online students tend to outperform their classroom counterparts, a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education found. This may be attributed to the fact that most online students spend more time studying the course materials than classroom students. After all, those in a classroom only have the time span of the single class period to write down notes and absorb the lecture materials, whereas online students can take as long as they need to understand the materials before moving on. This means that online students typically study more, leading to a better academic performance.

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