One of the most innovative breakthroughs in education are online degree programs offered by colleges and universities all over the world and interested individuals must know how online degrees work in order to grasp the concept of these programs. Online degree programs are simply distance learning education that takes the educational process out of the four corners of the institution, and applying it at the comfort of one’s home and studying at their own pace. There are varied forms of distance learning, and many institutions use a combination of methods in applying the educational process. However, there are four common distance learning techniques that are adopted by most institutions, and can help provide options to candidates hoping to pursue online degrees. There is the Open Schedule, a process by which the studies can be taken anywhere and gives students the most freedom possible. This plan gives students a set of deadlines they must meet within a certain amount of time, however, they can work anytime and anywhere to meet course requirements. This program suits independent workers and especially those who don’t struggle with procrastination. Another one is Blended Learning, this is the second most common strategy used in distance learning which offers an open schedule process, but would also require students to communicate in an established location. This means that students can complete assignments on their own time like the open schedule process, but are also required at certain occasions or periods during the course lifetime to meet in a classroom or an online chat room to touch base. Another process is called Computer Based Learning, where it covers a wide range of web-based or e-learning process that includes the strictest version of distance education, requiring students to participate all at the same time and place. For Computer Based learning, students must log in using a designated off-campus computer lab, or even meet in an actual classroom at a pre-determined time for the learning process. Lastly, there is also what is called Fixed Time E-Learning, which is the most common way to learn online through a pre-determined schedule that can be conducted anywhere. Students are able to work from home, school or the office, as long as they log onto the online learning site at the designated time. These programs often include a live online forum, thus requiring internet connectivity for every student. But one also needs to be aware that they are subscribing or enrolled in an accredited Online Degree program. Similar to the work of a school principal or a regulatory body, accrediting agencies look over the quality of educational standards of institutions offering online degree programs to make sure that public is open to options of excellent academic quality, as well as make sure that these standards are maintained. Traditional educational institutions like colleges, vocational and trade schools, universities and graduate schools usually all have at least one accrediting agency that gives a stamp of approval for the quality of education being offer and Online schools and programs are also treated the same. In the United States, there are a several specialized accrediting agencies that help ensure that online education students or distant learning students are spending their hard earned money on online degree programs that are worthwhile and advantageous to their future careers. US accrediting agencies are categorized into two, the national accreditors and regional accreditors. The most highly respected ones are the Regional accreditors since they focus on a single section of the United States, thus, keeping a more closely looped regulatory and monitoring process on a specific territory. National accreditors are also well respected, but their standards are more general and they oversee schools throughout the United States and in other countries. Now that you have an idea about how online degrees work, you can now take your first step towards a better and rewarding career path.
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