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Online Education Has Its Downside

Mar 1, 2008
Online education is much celebrated because of the many wonderful benefits it offers. Students have the capability to now complete four-year degrees in less than half of the time, due to condensed programs. Online students can complete their courses from the comfort of their home, without sacrificing time spent with family, or at work. As if that's not enough, the courses can be completed at the convenience of the student, as opposed to a rigorous program where classes are structured at the discretion of the college faculty. However, in spite of the many advantages of distant learning, there is also a downside, as we are about to explore.

Studying at home may be convenient and preferable, especially for mothers of toddlers, but this does not say anything about the daily distractions that present themselves. Crying children, the TV or radio blaring, and the constant ringing of the phone are a few outside factors associated with distance learning. A tremendous amount of discipline on the part of the student is needed to evade the phone calls and avoid one's favorite TV shows while homework is waiting. Plus, as there is no direct teacher supervision, procrastination can take over, and homework can find its way to the student's desk at the last minute.

Research shows that online students risk a high chance of scoring less than their counterparts in their courses than those who take a traditional class at an actual campus location. But the upside is anyone who has successfully completed online classes has proven that they truly are a committed and disciplined individual.

Due to the popularity of online education and distance learning, many schools, organizations, and agencies have appeared claiming to offer online degrees. Many online schools have dubious origins, and may not even be actual schools at all. There are organizations online now claiming to have the capability to offer a four-year college degree in six months. There are even fraudulent dealers online who can sell online degrees for a fee, never requiring a student to attend class! Caution should be taken before enrolling in any online education program. Students need to be aware of which school are accredited and are credible.

As popular as online education has become, many employers still look down upon the quality of education they provide. Students who received degrees as traditional, residential students are preferred to those who have graduated with an online degree.
About the Author
Ronald Kennedy is Executive Director of Distance Learning for Liberty University. Overseeing a school with over 22,000 students has given Ron a special insight into the mind of the online student. Ron can be contacted at Liberty University Online or at Ron@RonaldKennedy.com.
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