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Benefits of Online Education: Top 5 Myths

Most major colleges and universities have included online learning modules to their degree programs. There are comprehensive undergrad and graduate programs allowing students to work on their degrees entirely from remote locations. Some majors include online education as a component of a mixed campus-remote curriculum. With acknowledged online academic excellence and employer acceptance of online degrees, it's startling to see that there are still many misconceptions about online learning.

Let's dispel the top five here:

1. Online degrees are worth less than campus degrees. Ancient history. Today's employers look at the quality of your training, the college you attended, and your job-specific skills. (A diploma does not indicate that you did your work online.) In fact, employers often pay tuition to encourage their valued employees to update their credentials through online degrees and/or certification programs.

2. There's no social interaction via an online education. Not so. Almost every online course requires emails, bulletin board participation, or chat-room collaboration among students and with faculty. Online participants build networks of student relationships that bolster life-long professional contacts as well as long-term friendships.

3. Professors won't know who you are. Oh, they certainly will. There's no jousting for limited, hour-long lecture time in an online class. No raising of hands to speak. All students are measured by the quality of their writing, their collaborative research, and their online test scores.

4. Students are isolated--stuck without resources. Hardly. Online students have outstanding, 24-hour access to online libraries, lecture notes, streamed video lectures, and contact with mentors, tutors, and instructional aides. And you won't need to be a tech freak to use the system. Colleges create easy-to-use interfaces that enable all students (including those with disabilities) to access enrollment, financial aid, online classes, labs, and email.

5. Online classes are cream puffs. Avoid that trap. Online courses are as complex and rigorous as campus-based classes. In fact, you'll need to maintain a regular schedule in attending online lectures and delivering papers or you'll fall dismally behind. Online students have to be committed to learning.

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