Technology revolutionized everything. In this digital age, every seems to be just a click away. Online shopping, movie streaming, catching up with old friends and even earning online college degrees are possible. Regardless of geographical distances, internet has learned to connect people.
Online college education has become so popular, that an approximate 2 million students attend different online college programs in the United States alone. The numbers are increasing. Although, outnumbered by students who would still attend traditional colleges and schools, the number is significant which is why more and more educational institutions are offering online programs. Virtual colleges are also being developed.
Simply, online college education is about going through your studies on the internet. There are synchronous online discussions, course readings could be downloaded on the internet, assignments and exercises are also conducted online. Of course, everything is relied on the use of technology which is why it is important for online students to have at least basic navigation skills on different programs used by the degree program.
In earning online college degree programs, the focus and the one who will decide on the pace, will be the student. Students would get to decide on what classes will best fit their time and they would be able to work on their classes based also on their time. In addition to that, students can study regardless of geographical location. They could attend classes without spending on transportation or renting a room near the school or university. These characteristics makes online college programs ideal for single parents, those who are working, and those who have disability.
There are some college programs that would rely completely on technology. The tools, readings, workbooks and everything else are online. Online education maximizes e-mails, word documents, message boards and chat rooms for discussions. Written communication is how students mainly interact with each other and with their course expert.
In online education, there are two kinds of classes: the asynchronous and the synchronous classes. Asynchronous classes do not have specified meeting times. Since online students would have different schedules and free time. This type of classes or learning would require students to be articulate in writing to be able to communicate effectively.
Synchronous classes on the other hand would have specific meeting times. It could through video conferencing, teleconference and chatting. This would require students to possess necessary equipment needed for the sessions. Will all its technical demands, synchronous classes would offer the human interaction that some students may need to show progress on their work.
A sure way to see if the online educational institution you would like to apply to is qualified and has met the standards of quality education, then there are accreditors that set academic standards. There are two accrediting agencies in the United States, the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Online accreditation would review the online institution’s teaching methods, curriculum, and the credentials of the teachers and staff members. Accrediting institutions and agencies would then issue certificates to online college institutions that met their standards.
Accreditation is important when choosing an online college degree program. This would give you an insight if the subjects and courses offered will equip students with the necessary skill. It is important to understand though, that different from traditional colleges, online college degrees would rely much on the students motivation and discipline.