Thursday, August 20, 2009

Value of online education

I've seen a lot of posts lately about the value of online education. As a former student of online educational programs I have to say that they provide value different than classroom learning, which is one of the reasons that I enjoyed it. Stephanie Coleman discusses "Why Do Students Like online learning?" and I have to agree with the points that are made. One of my favorite benefits through this method of learning was the variety of students that were in my class. The students came from a variety of geographic locations as well as bringing knowledge from a variety of professional fields. Both of these factors would probably not have been available to me through a traditional classroom environment. As a working professional who was attending classes online I enjoyed the fact that I could attend class based on my schedule, but also it was great to be able to utilize my classmates when I had questions in my "daily" life that I would like varied opinions on. This provided me a well rounded educational opportunity.

An April 2, 2009 report in U.S. News discusses the increase in popularity for online educational programs because of improvements in the programs. Having participated in online programs for my Bachelor's and Master's programs I would advise a word of caution of course, for anyone interested in online programs and that is to do your research and make sure that you are attending an accredited program that will provide you with a solid education. Don't just go for the least expensive program you can find. You'll want to find out how their courses are structured, what the expectations are for attendance, testing, etc. There are many different structures, find one that suits you and your needs.

Online education is a wonderful opportunity to further your education while you meet the demands on your time as well as other restraints (such as geographical location). Good luck with your educational pursuits.

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