The pros and cons of getting an online university degree
The question that is often asked is whether a degree earned through an online institution is worth as much as a degree obtained from a traditional university. Recent studies, including one carried out by the University of Phoenix, have indicated that there is no significant difference between distance learning and classroom learning.
However, an online degree has its share of pros and cons. The obvious advantage of an online degree program is that the student can be located anywhere in the world, and yet enroll and pursue a degree course at a leading educational institution, such as the University of Phoenix Online. There are no fixed classroom timings, and it is up to the student to decide and pace his or her degree program. The student accesses all study material online, and interacts with the faculty through simple email messages.
It is sometimes argued that in an online degree program, the classroom environment is missing, and the student either depends on material that is supplied by the University, or needs to reach out to the online resources such as online libraries.
The success or failure of an online degree program also depends on the student?s self-discipline. While a traditional classroom situation ensures that the student adheres to the timetable, an online program often leaves it to the student to define the timetable?if the student is unable to exert self-discipline, there is a possibility that the course might overrun the acceptable timeline.
There are also some doubts expressed about the value of an online degree as compared to a traditional degree. However, if the institution imparting online courses is trusted in the academic world and accredited, an online degree is held in high esteem. The University of Phoenix is both trusted and accredited, and has an experienced faculty that is able to communicate effectively with students online.
The study conducted by the University of Phoenix compared its own campus-based students to distance learners and came to the conclusion that the current online format is the most effective vehicle for distance education. But while this study revealed that on campus learning at the University of Phoenix provides no significant advantage over distance learning with that same University, it would be presumptuous to assume that the analogy also extends to other online universities.
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Hal McIver is a proponent of higher education, especially at online universities. See www.universityreviewsonline.com/2005/10/choosing_an_onl_1.html for more information on getting an online university degree.