A look at the online degree “classroom”
Do you have a full-time job as well as other commitments such as kids, book club duties - or maybe you’re just a social butterfly with a full schedule? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone working a full-time job with enough time to commute to a college campus and attend classes, workshops and lectures. With such busy lifestyles, it’s no wonder online degrees are becoming more popular than ever among those folks juggling a job and other obligations. The do-it-yourself schedule they allow is convenient for anyone’s schedule, so you can work in classes on your own time.
Sounds like a dream, right? No commutes, no parking fees, and no angry professors to announce your tardiness to the whole class. But earning an online degree isn’t a stroll in the park—in fact, online classes require just as much work as traditional campus-style universities, and they’re accredited in the same way. Whether you’re sitting in a dusty classroom or in your pajamas in front of your laptop, online students are required to learn the same information as those earning their degree on a college campus.
In online classes, the professor will first email or post lectures online as a text document, PowerPoint presentation or even a video file, and it’s up to the student to thoroughly read the notes or watch the video. This is where convenience really kicks in: instead of working overtime at your job to make up for all those weekday mornings you had to sit in class, you can attend class on your lunch break, or making dinner for your family. But while you can prove your attendance at a lecture simply with your presence in a traditional program, in an online program, you’ll have to do some extra work so that your professor knows you attended the lesson.
Students enrolled in online programs through the University of Phoenix are required to post comments at least four days a week on their virtual classroom interface. At Kaplan University, students are required to participate in online discussions with professors and classmates through a discussion board. Comments and discussions are also used to demonstrate to the course professor that you’ve got a good understanding of the material at hand.