Now that online education is becoming more main stream, there are a few misconceptions that need to be discussed about where it has been, what it is currently, and what it will become in the future. There are many things that make online education different than a traditional school. These things don’t make one better than the other, as someone who has experienced both I have a unique insight to help debunk any misconceptions. Only you can decide what is best for you and your learning style, nobody else.
I had the amazing privilege of attending a traditional school for my undergraduate studies. Nothing can compare to those four years in my experience. They helped make me who I am and are some of the best memories that I have. However, I also went the online education route for graduate school. There were many reasons for this which I will touch on in a minute, but the main thing was it allowed me the freedom to work full time and go to school. The flexibility was most important.
Many people thing that you do not learn the same while attending online education as you would in a traditional school. Along with this they feel it is easier. I disagree. I think it depends on how you learn and are able to apply your knowledge. I had a hard time taking tests in college and usually did poorly on them. However, essays and papers always helped my grades. When I learned that with my Master’s it would be 90% writing I was ecstatic. It was a way for me to apply my knowledge and show my professors my interpretation on what they were teaching.
Another misconception that I have heard is that online education is less engaging. I disagree. Of course, I can only speak for the school that I attended online, but our teachers were very engaging. In fact, I had a better relationship with them than I did with my teachers at the traditional school. This is because they constantly see your work. Every week you have multiple assignments due. You are also in a smaller class. They know your learning style and are able to give you feedback. I also found it easier to participate and ask questions. I never asked a question in class at my traditional school. I was always afraid of what others were thinking or saying. However online you have the freedom to sit behind a screen and for some that empowers them to speak up.
Another major concern is that employers do not accept these schools. More and more we find people going back to school trying to advance their degree or their career. Online education makes this possible for some and employers recognize that. The thing to make sure is that your school is accredited. Your school should have the proper accreditation to back up your degree and show employers that you are learning the same material as someone who attended a traditional school.