Friday, July 19, 2013

Technology Is Important in Online Degrees

Many of the more advanced Online degree schools do not leave your education to just emails and software. Today, many of them incorporate much more technologically advanced systems. Yes, this is a bit of fun and it allows you to communicate with your teacher and students in a more direct way. 

If you enjoy the ability to hold class discussions or are a learner that does better with hearing and seeing rather than just reading, these are technological advancements that you will want to look for in the school that you select. 

Chats.  If you have ever been in a chat room, then you know what we are talking about.  Some schools or courses will schedule chats to keep the class working together.  By doing this, your instructor can bring the entire class together to talk about the various topics set forth. These may be mandatory or simply additional methods of communicating.

Online Video. Today, you see the news on your laptop in streaming video. Many of the best online schools are now providing this type of video for their educational abilities.  Simply, you can sit down with your cup of coffee and watch a lecture unfold in front of your eyes. These classes are ideal for those courses that are just too detailed to provide through written lectures.

Video Conferencing. Some of the most technologically advanced schools may provide for this service as well. All you do is sit down, coursework in front of you and listen and watch the live lecture. With this type of software, you can raise your hand to discuss with the teacher, answer questions and even ask them.  All of this is done in real time.

As you can see, there are many fun and interesting ways that you will be able to enjoy your education when it comes to Online degrees. The fact is that not all schools are the same though. If you see something here that really makes you smile, make sure that you look for it in the school that you attend. 

In addition, realize that each course will likely have their own methods of educating you.  Some courses need more hands on attention then others do. Some courses may be simple self studies where others rely heavily on lectures. 

In any case, now you have had a look at what the normal practice is likely to be for your online degree. Let’s help you to find the best school for you to get into now.

How Do Online Degrees Work?

In a typical class at one of the better online colleges and universities, you will simply start your week with an email from your teacher or instructor. The instructor will tell you what the week’s topics for discussion and learning will be as well as send out the assignments that you will need to complete. The instructor is also likely to provide you with information in the form of a short lecture. He will also add topics for your classmates and you to talk about.  

You will go through the week doing your assigned work. It can be anything from reading the lectures to providing papers and even meet for conference system participation calls.  You can read other student’s questions as well as ask your own. You will participate in discussions, usually done in forum style so that students can post when it is convenient for them to do so. And, you will send in your work to your instructor through email.  He sends it back, graded.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What You Can Expect from Online Degrees

Now that you know a bit about online degrees, you will next want to know what you can expect from it. Let’s skip over finding the right school for now as you should still be trying to decide if the online learning experience is right for you. Don’t worry, we will do that next.

Here is where you are. You are enrolled in the perfect online school getting ready to earn your online degree. What is school going to be like? What are your classes going to be like?  How will you communicate with your teacher?

You probably have a lot of questions and on top of that, each school is going to be a bit different then the next one. But, here are some of the basics of what you will see when it comes to Online degree learning.

Communication in Online Degrees

Communication is vital in the world of education. You have to be able to talk to your teachers, ask questions and get the information that you need. Some schools have their own software programs in place to allow this to happen. Others will use various other systems based on what needs they have.  

Some commercial software packages that are quite common are those such as WebCT as well as Blackboard. Your school is likely to have these software programs in place and will give you the details of it. Some are completely designed software packages. Others are just simply websites that have message boards on them.

When it comes to using these programs, they are a bit different than you would think. If you went to class in a traditional setting at your local college, you would come to class at the same times as other students as well as the teacher. But, this is not what happens in the traditional Online degree program. Here, you will use an asynchronously systems. That means that students as well as your teachers will meet at different times. 

Let’s say that you have to work 9 to 5 each day. Your perfect time for a class is at 7pm, when everyone is settled and you have some time to yourself. No matter what time you plan to do your coursework, you can log into the software program or even the website, if that is the method in which it is designed and simply do what needs to be done. 

In this system, students as well as teachers will meet at different times. The lectures and the coursework is completed when it is convenient for you to do so. You will participate in the study at different times than your classmates.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What to Do As a Student

As a student, then, what are you to do? When it comes to finding out if a school is worth the cost, you should take into consideration accreditation. But, you should do so knowing a few things.

First, realize that accreditation is done for online schools just as it is done by those in traditional form. Some of the standards may not fit well. Nevertheless, ask questions. Find out if the school is accredited and who has done the accreditation. The online accreditation organization is that of The Distance Education and Training Council. Yet, some are being accredited by the standard accreditation organizations as well.

In either case, ask these questions.

Is the school entirely or specific schools within it accredited?

If not, is the school in the process of getting their accreditation at this point?

If not, why not?

If the school is accredited, take a few minutes to verify which organization accredited the school.

Is this organization legitimate? You can find this information rather easily on the web just by looking at the Better Business Bureau or doing a search.

If the school is not accredited or in the process of getting it, find out if they were turned down. If so, find out why?

 Why go through this trouble? It is quite simple. Your degree, your education and your funding is going towards that valuable online degree. You deserve to make the best decision possible and you can only do this with all the information in hand.

Taking accreditation seriously is important. Getting these answers is essential. With so many bad apples on the web looking to take your money, you do need to know what you are investing in as well as what it will get you.

Finally, the bottom line is that you should take into consideration this fact.

If it is too good to be true, it probably is.  

Beware Of Non Accredited Schools

We have all seen the ads.

“You can get your bachelors degree in just 30 days!” 

“You can become an MD in just 6 months and four easy payments of just $199 each!”

These are schools that you need to stay away from. Short and sweet, just stay away from them.

There is no way that these companies can offer you the full fledged education that you will need to get the job or the career that you are after. You can even call these companies diploma mills because all they are doing is writing out some type of diploma and mailing them out after your final payment has been mailed.

Sure, they may make it look like you are learning something, but their degree is not going to stand up in the real work place. Each day, people get taken by these scams and unfortunately lose their money.

The sad part is that employers are not stupid. They know which schools are accredited and which are holding your resume down. 

Not All Are Bad, Though

It would not be fair for us to say that all schools that do not hold accreditation are bad schools.  This is in fact untrue. There are several reasons for this. For example, an accredited school will get their accreditation from a private organization.  In the United States, many of these organizations are not regulated and, therefore, their standards may be quite different.

On the other hand, some schools just do not pursue accreditation. In fact, this is very much true of schools that have religious affiliations.  Here, the simple fact that the accreditation process is very costly can cause the school to lose a good amount of money. 

On top of these things, it takes several years for a school to become accredited.  New schools may even have the latest advancements in technology, be fully staffed and provide innovative training and education but not be accredited.  They could be in the middle of it or may not even be pursuing it.