Credibility of Online Degrees

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The Sloan Consortium’s 2006 report stated that "in 2003, 57% of academic leaders rated the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face. That number is now 62%, a small but noteworthy increase.” This is an indication of the growing prevalence of online education in society today, given the unprecedented advancement in technology. In my opinion, online degrees offered by universities need not be seen as a replacement for the traditional degrees, but instead they could be seen as complements to the conventional ones that are already in place. An online degree offers the opportunity for accredited higher education to individuals such as adults with hectic working lives since it serves as a form of convenience for a supplementary education. This is because course documents could be accessed easily on the Internet which would enable learning at their leisure despite busy schedules or the hassle of commuting to school. For example, in the U.S., a working mother, Janice Barnwell chose an online university to advance her career by obtaining a master's degree in business and also, “two million students, most older than the traditional 18-22 year-old undergraduates, take all their courses online and two million more take one or more online course.” Given that study materials would be archived and saved on websites, they are easily available online for re-reading and revision. As such, an online curriculum enhances one’s knowledge as it serves as a degree of convenience which an individual could acquire additionally to further complement their expertise. Furthermore, online degrees create supplementary tools to help further facilitate learning experience. For instance, students who are more reserved may not learn as well in classrooms if they are disengaged in group settings. In this case, virtual classrooms would be more favorable as they could have the opportunity to partake in online discussions which are often more inclusive...
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