Distance learning has revolutionized higher education. As the Internet becomes more and more immersed in everyday living, many life activities are being gravitated towards the web, and education is no exception.
When online learning first emerged, many myths circulated, and it was common for people to believe the programs to be inferior. Distance learning programs were often considered scams and had all other kinds of negative stigmas attached to the concept of online learning.
However is distance learning really any different than telecommuting, online banking or other tasks people routinely engage in?
Not really. While it is true there are some scams out there that operate as nothing but diploma mills, the reality is that there are hundreds of legitimate distance learning programs.
Here are a few of the top myths about online learning:
*Distance Learning is Easier than Campus Programs
The assumption distance learning classes are easier than on-campus degree programs is probably one of the largest myths out there about online learning.
The reality is distance learning courses are just as demanding, if not more demanding, than traditional schools. Online courses requires strong self-motivation, great time management skills, innovation and organization.
In addition, discussions take place in the form of bulletin boards online where students must type out answers to questions; a far cry from raising a hand in class or quietly hiding in the back of the classroom. Students who do not participate in these online discussions are penalized, so participation is not easily circumvented.
*All Online Educational Programs are Scams
Many prestigious universities are now offering distance learning as an option for their students. Both public and private colleges recognize that today’s students are diverse and need flexibility, especially since the levels of enrollment for non-traditional students continues to grow.
*Online Schools are Not Accepted as Formal Education
Distance learning programs are as accepted as traditional college programs by employers. The only thing distance learning students need to be aware of is to avoid the aforementioned diploma mills. By registering at an accredited institution that is accepted, the education will be looked upon as an acceptable degree on a resume.
*Can’t Transfer Distance Learning Credits
Distance learning credits are as transferable as any other kind of classes. Just like any other ordinary transfer, the type of course and level of credits earned will be evaluated by an admissions representative and go through the same processes.
*Distance Learning Schools are Cheaper
Distance learning schools are not cheaper than traditional colleges. In some programs, the education is actually higher because there are mandatory technology fees and electronic textbook purchases that are bundled in with the tuition. These costs may actually inflate the price for distance learning when compared with campus programs.
The reality is most of the myths that circulate about distance learning are just that, myths. The truth is online learning has become a real component of education and one that is taken very seriously. The future lies within technology and the education industry has long recognized the value and potential distance learning has to offer.
As a result, many major education institutions have been integrating web components into their curriculums for almost a decade. Some were even innovative enough back in the early 1990s to offer a handful of core classes as video courses; this was one of the earliest forms of distance learning.
Once the web arrived and became mainstream those early programs were moved to the online environment where they’ve continued to grow both in program offerings and popularity.