Choosing Your Online Education School

Aside from the billion-dollar online commerce, communications, news, entertainment and others, online education is one of today’s growing industries in the Internet.

For people with intentions of enrolling in one of these online learning institutions, it is best to check out upfront some important things. After all, education is one significant undertaking that should not be taken lightly.


The very first consideration about a school is its status. Is your prospective school accredited by reputable organizations or by the industry at large? Your prospective employment will depend on your school’s standing and reputation.

How long has the school been in existence? It may not follow that the school’s age is a barometer for excellence but experience is always a plus factor.

How many students are enrolled? How many have graduated? If the school has few students, it might not reflect much on its credibility. The same is true with low graduation rate.


The cost of educating yourself with either online or a traditional school is always an important factor. Your tuition should be slightly less than that of a regular university. Look out for overcharged mandatory fees, hidden costs and other extraneous fees.

Determine the curriculum to be used. If there is a requirement for books, check out the costs first. Some institutions dole out their own lesson modules. These come out in other forms of media (downloads in audio, video, PowerPoint, etc.) Check out the fees, if any.


Do your research on the school’s teaching staff as well. It is important that they are of the same level or have comparable experience and competence as those of traditional university professors.

Junior college teachers usually have an M.A. degree on the subject they handle. Professors usually have Ph.D. degrees. Online education teachers should be comparably competent.

One other thing is the number of students per teacher. Teachers with many students have less time assisting each one. In essence, online education sometimes is a one-on-one learning process.

Computer needs

From your end, what computer hardware and software are to be used in the lessons? Online education requires that students must be well-versed in current multimedia and other programs.

Will the students purchase additional software for dedicated education programs? Lastly, if your computer is old, it may not work well, or not work at all.


Needless to say, the first thing you check out in your prospective online school is the list of degrees offered, and if your degree of choice is offered at all. Some programs may not offer the degree you want.

The next question would be how long will it take to complete the program needed for your degree. Some schools offer the chance of completing some degrees in less time. (Sometimes, they can save an entire year of work.)

Different schools offer different methods of student work: the chance to speed up or to work at one’s individual pace. Some schools require their students to participate in virtual classes and specific deadlines for assignments.

Some schools allow students to communicate with their instructors on all things about their lessons. Others do not offer such kind of assistance and students have to work out things on their own.

This early, it is good to remember that in online education, the student most often takes the initiative.

Do You Have What It Takes To Succeed In An Online Education Program?

Succeeding in an online education program is quite easier compared to finishing a degree in a college university. In fact, if you think about it, online schools and degrees were created in order for those people, who are for some reasons, are not able or capable of entering into traditional universities.

In order to succeed in an online education program, below are some of the things you will need and some tips in order to make your online education much easier;

Like any other schools or universities, online schools also have their set of requirements that a student must have in order to enrol in a particular online program. For example, if you wish to enrol in an online certificate program in the field of healthcare and medicine, then a high school diploma and experience in clinical or medical work is usually required, although in some cases, online schools require the completion of particular medical and biological subjects.

In the case of online degree programs, requirements are usually much more specific compared to those online certificate programs. Aside from high school diploma, work experiences, and the completion of specific subjects, most online schools require the student to be at least 18 years of age. In some cases, online schools might require a minimum grade point average (GPA) in high school.

As for master’s, doctor’s and other higher degrees, the only requirement is the finishing of the lower degree related to the program. In case you don’t know, master’s degree can only be obtained by finishing a bachelor’s degree first. And a doctor’s degree can only be obtained by finishing a master’s degree beforehand.

Those are just some of the requirements that online schools need before one can actually enroll and participate in their online programs. There are instances when online schools will require more things.

Now as for the tips in order for you to succeed in an online program, be sure to remember the things below;

• Proper time management

Enrolling in online degree courses allows you to freely control and manage your time. This means that you will have the chance to work full-time and at the same time study. If you really want to succeed or probably finish your online degree faster, then I suggest you manage your time properly in order for you to have the right focus and motivation when doing things. Having a time schedule to follow everybody is the most usual and effective way of managing your time.

• Choose the right online institution

With the increase in popularity and of course the convenience offered by online education, a lot of institutions have been popping out of nowhere. And certainly, not all of these institutions have the same in quality in education and training. That is why, when enrolling in online institutions, be sure to do a background check if the institution is accredited or if their products have been successful after graduating.


Lastly, in an online education setting, you will have no classmates, no teacher, no chairs or table. You will not have your typical educational setting, that is why, it is very important to keep yourself focused and motivated in reaching your goal – to finish the degree.

Why Online Education Is Inexpensive

 Online   education  takes place in an electronically stimulated environment without direct contact between the teacher and the student. In this method, you can choose any subject of study, even if it is not available in your country as this is conducted beyond the frontiers of nations. All you need is a computer with internet connection and access to the  online  schools, universities or private tutors who offer you  education . Usually, you will be provided with a unique code to input and get into the class room.

There are two types of  online   education . One is real time learning and the other one is any time learning. Real time learning involves immediate broadcasting of the lessons. You must be present before the computer with a head phone and mike. In this, you can ask your doubts and get them cleared immediately. You will also be given tests and assignments to assess your ability before the course completion certificate is offered. The other type is, the teaching will be in the form of recorded lessons that could be downloaded to your system and learn at your ease. This gives you time flexibility. However, if you have doubts, you may mail them to get clarified.

An  online   education  program is a lot less expensive to maintain compared to what is required to pay for instructors and training personnel in the classroom style. This lets the user learn the subject at his own pace. Learniers could go through the learning materials at his own speed and sequence. Intelligent students need not wait for a long time to finish the course as in the conventional type of learning.

Learner can work from any location at any time. Learning materials could be updated easily and quickly. While you learn online, you can get increased retention and stronger grasp of the subject as the learning materials presented are rich in quality with animation, text, video, virtual environments and three dimensional pictures. Especially those who are employed could make use of this facility to learn at their leisure.

A classroom can accommodate only a particular number of students. But in  online   education , any number of students can be accommodated in virtual classrooms. There is age bar in its admission. As you need not travel to the place of  education , you save time, energy and money and could learn while enjoying the comfort of your home. But you should be careful not to fall a prey to bogus universities and spend some time before selecting your school of study.

Benefits & Popularity of Online Education

Over the past several years, oline  education  has continued to grow at an impressive rate. Nearly four million students are discovering the benefits of obtaining an  education   online . Colleges and academic institutions across the country are actively working to keep up with the growth in enrollment in accredited online colleges.

Online Nation

“Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning” is the fifth annual report on the state of online learning in the U.S., supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The report, published early 2008, summarizes a survey conducted with 2,500 colleges and universities. Some interesting statistics:

· Nearly 20 percent of all students enrolled in higher  education  programs are studying  online .

· The 9.7 percent yearly growth for  online  enrollment far exceeds the1.5 percent growth of the overall higher  education  population.

· Two-year associate’s degree institutions have the highest growth rates and account for over half of all online enrollments for the last 4 years.

It is clear that online degree programs are impacting the academic world in a big way, but what impact does enrolling in an online college or university have on the learner? Why are students, especially non-traditional students, enrolling and sticking with it until graduation?

The Benefits

It appears many factors work together to make online learning a positive experience for the student. Some of the main factors:

Greater access and availability: Students are able to signup for courses and programs not available in their geographic area. Those who live in rural areas where transportation is a problem can log-on and attend a cyber class at a top accredited school – without having to leave home!

Diversity of course offerings: Where you live on the planet doesn’t matter. You can still avail yourself of a wide variety of professional and specialized training programs from accredited schools. Nearly every field is now represented in online offerings, as is every type of degree – from diploma and certificate programs, to associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. level degrees.

Convenience and flexibility: Being able to log-on twenty-four hours, seven days a week makes online learning very attractive to the adult learner. Controlling when and where coursework is done allows students to keep working and caring for their families. Although online programs have workloads equivalent to traditional “face-to face” programs, the work can be done according to a schedule that fits individual lifestyle. Busy families and single parents especially appreciate this flexibility.

Privacy and anonymity: Students not desiring an on-campus college experience can learn without having to meet face to face with anyone. Students who may be intimidated by on-campus involvement enjoy the freedom and privacy of learning online.

Student-centered learning: Online students can tailor their learning to their own learning style and usually work at their own pace. There is greater one-to-one interaction between instructor and individual students, as online programs are designed for frequent exchange of information and feedback.

Collaboration and teamwork: Most online degree programs are designed around a collaborative model of processing and problem-solving. Students often experience a greater sense of community and camaraderie as they work and learn together.

Quality  education : Instructors and students surveyed in the “ Online  Nation” study mentioned above believe online programs are just as rigorous and valuable as traditional coursework. Quality of online course offerings and instruction was rated at least as high as traditional programs.

Ready for the future: Pioneers in  online   education  will be well-equipped for life in the 21st Century. Not only will online students be technologically savvy, they will have gained a more global perspective by interacting with others from a distance.

 Online  degrees are valuable: Early doubt over the marketability of an  online  degree has faded as graduates are proving the worth of their  online   education  in the workplace. Those advancing their careers by going back to school are proof that getting an online degree pays off.

Join the millions who have already reaped the benefits

Millions have already received online degrees. They are living proof that it can be done and that there are many benefits from selecting an accredited online degree program. There will always be traditional institutions of higher learning. But online learning has become firmly established as a practical and worthwhile route to getting that degree and moving forward in life.

Is  online   education  for you?

If you need more information on accredited online degrees, programs or information on online colleges & universities, please call our friendly advisors toll free at:


Nationwide directory of accredited online colleges, universities and campus-based schools.

Online Education – Utilize Time Effectively

Online education generally refers to computer-enhanced learning, but is often extended to comprise usage of modern mobile technologies such as PDAs and MP3 players. The concept also includes teaching through web-based methodologies, hypermedia, multimedia CD-ROMs/websites, collaborative software, discussion boards, e-mail blogs, computer-aided assessment, educational animation, learning management software, wikis, electronic voting systems and much more. At times, a combination of various methods is used to enhance the learning experience. Online education also involves learning through websites that offer worksheets and provide interactive exercises for adults and children.

There has been a significant rise in online schools and colleges in the United States (US), which is indicative of the increasing popularity on e learning. Online education is very popular in the business segment, where it entails cost-effective learning for the employees.

A number of physical universities and only-online colleges have started offering particular set of academic degrees as well as certificate programs through the internet at various levels and disciplines. To cater to the students’ necessities, these institutes also offer online registration, e-counseling, and enable online textbook purchase. They also provide students governments and student newspapers online.

Types Of Online Education

Online education is in the vogue in the learning circuit as it offers flexible distance learning. Perhaps, another concept making rounds these days is blended learning, meaning e learning with face-to-face learning. Such kind of a concept is useful, particularly for students pursuing higher education. The beauty of blended learning is that it is instrumental in creating a Virtual Learning System (VLS), wherein all aspects of modules are handled using a consistent user interface that remains standard throughout an institution.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Undoubtedly, the perception about online education has changed from an alternative to serious study to an efficient and cost-effective instructor. A majority of the online educational institutions are well established and are experienced in providing students with in-depth learning in their respective modules. So much so that, some of the most reputed educational institutes in Europe and North America are offering courses to their students online.

However, before taking a plunge into the online pool, weigh its advantages and disadvantages well.

Flexibility of scheduling and convenience of learning are among the major advantages that online education offers. It however needs dedication and patience from the students to bless them with superb results. It is advisable that the students first patiently and persistently familiarize themselves with the online technology. You will have to be always on your toes to keep yourself updated with the online requirements, since there is no instructor to guide you in this respect. Be prepared to dedicate yourself completely to online education to be able to complete it on time.

Online Education Vs The Educational Industrial Complex

Have you noticed that the traditional college admissions process is designed to keep you out and suck money from your pocket, not let you in and give you the power to keep the price down?

Stop to think about it. On the day you decide to start college, obstacles keep jumping up in your path. First you have to fill out an application form, a financial aid form and pay a hefty fee. Then you have to provide transcripts of previous coursework. Then you take expensive standardized tests. Next, you pester three people for letters of reference. (What’s the point? Don’t colleges know that you are only going to ask for reference letters from people who like you?) Then you write essays explaining your philosophy of life and why you want to enter that particular college. And you’re still not done. If the college wants to interview you, you have to put on your best Sunday clothes so an interviewer from the college can give you a final once-over.

And if you jump through all those hoops, guess what? You are then allowed to start writing big checks and go into debt to pay for what is, essentially, a service. Also, if you had college credits from another college or from taking a test, colleges will hem and haw about whether they will recognize your past work.

Yet as a growing number of eager learners are discovering, there is a better way. It’s called online study. More smart people are choosing it, for some very compelling reasons…

  • A streamlined application process. In most cases, you can start taking college courses online immediately, after filling out a brief online application, charging a credit card or even paying with PayPal.
  • A quick start. School doesn’t begin in September or January. It starts every day.
  • Self-Pacing.When I took College Algebra, I had to sit in a classroom for four months even though I’d taken 70% of it in high school. I could have been done in a weekend if I could have taken it at my own pace.
  • Lower costs. Providers of accredited online college courses, charge as little as $99 per month to start college course. The result? You can complete the equivalent of one year of undergraduate education – between eight and 10 courses – for under $1,000. This is cheaper than most community colleges, not to mention the $50,000 or more that some private universities and colleges charge for tuition plus living expenses.
  • Transferable credits. In many cases, you can transfer the credits you earned online if you decide to finish your college work at a traditional college or university. The result? You can dramatically slash the costs of that education. (The student at the next desk paid $50,000 for a degree from Posh Posh University, but not you.)
  • A variety of other benefits. As an online college student, you can study at any time, from anywhere. You can study, even if your work requires you to travel. You can lighten your course load when there are other demands on your life, then ramp it up again when your life quiets down.

Those are only a few reasons why online institutions of higher learning are shaking up the education industry.

So, are tweedy traditional colleges with their ivy-covered walls going to disappear? Probably not. But the bigger question is, do you need them at all?

Why People Prefer Online Education?

The creation of the Internet has had a great impact in the world of interactions. The Internet provides opportunities for distributed systems, worldwide collaboration and presentation of information, all of which have helped immensely in bringing even great distances closer together. The Internet’s greatest place of impact is in the realm of distance learning and online coursework. Computer technology has increased at such a pace that learning is adapting and taking place outside of face-to-face interaction. UCF offers a select few online courses in two different modes: fully online and reduced seat, which allows for half in class and half online. In order to keep up with many of the universities in America, UCF should add more online courses.

The number of enrolled distance learning students in the United States indicates growing interest in this educational option. In her article “Distance Learning Goes the Distance,” Charlotte Thomas states that the “Family PC Magazine estimates that 1 million students are taking distance-learning classes via the Internet, and will most likely reach close to 2.2 million by 2004.”

There can only be one reason for the growing number of online learners; the program must work. If it is possible for a student to sit in their pajamas, eating cereal, and go to class at the same time, why not let them?  Education  should not be restricted to a classroom, and by the growing numbers of  online  learning, it is obvious that students want to be learning from online classes.

Students who work their way through college would benefit greatly from the addition of online classes. Online learning generally provides considerable freedom, allowing students to often choose when and where they’ll participate in class activities. But at the same time, students have the equivalent kinds of deadlines and structured responsibilities of a face-to-face class. Flexibility must be balanced by responsibility. Like a face-to-face course, online courses require that assignments be completed by due dates, attendance (through logging in to the course), involvement in online discussions, and sometimes group collaboration. Most students thoroughly enjoy the active learning that online classes involve.

Most programs allow scholars to attend classes and complete coursework at their own convenience. This allows them to continue with full time employment and maintain time with family and friends. Working from home helps to avoid the high costs of commuting and possible childcare costs, if applicable. Convenience in this day and age is the by-laws for everything. Students and teachers want their learning to be convenient. For the physically handicapped or for who must stay home for whatever reason, online learning may be the only viable solution, and why deny this privilege to anyone else?

More online courses would be a good addition for UCF because it can help to bring more students to the school that otherwise wouldn’t attend the school. By allowing students to attend the school through the Internet, UCF could raise their population numbers and therefore get greater funding from the government. Funding from the government would be helpful in adding other needed things to the university premises.

Remedying the situation could be done in many ways. One solution would be to make WebCT, an online course server, mandatory for all classes offered. This would begin the integration from traditional to online. Similarly, UCF should educate their professors and teachers in how to use the Internet and associated technology. This would allow for more of these staff to teach online courses. UCF should poll students and teachers and ask them whether they want more online classes, and if many teachers are willing to teach them. In many of the state colleges, computers have become required. There’s no better way to use these computers than to allow students to work and save time and money with commuting. Why else should they be required, if not to provide learning with them? Students today are fully connected through the internet. UCF should offer more online classes to help satisfy the students in their wants and needs.

Online Open Source Education

 Online   education  is increasingly on the public’s mind with many pursuing higher  education  during the current tough economic times. Accompanying the growth of the for profit  online  universities, serving these students, is the open source  education  movement. This movement, headed by MIT OpenCourseWare and the Khan Academy, seeks to revolutionize  education  by offering free content to anyone with an internet connection. Bill Gates said in an interview that he believes that within five years the best  education  will come from the web. Coming from a man who has made billions from investing in innovation, such predictions carry an enormous amount of weight.

There is a huge demand for  online   education  materials, not just for those enrolled in  online  courses, but for anyone trying to learn. The upcoming generation of college freshman have to think hard to remember a time before Google and YouTube. Therefore, it is not surprising that the first reaction of many young students when faced with a difficult problem is to “Google it.” Interestingly enough, with the plethora of  online   education  materials, it probably is the best strategy. A quick Google search for calculus returns quite a bit more than what one could find in a traditional library. Full textbooks, video lectures, practice problems with solutions, internet forums connecting to thousands of helpful experts, computer programs, and more content growing by the day make a trip to the library seem silly unless you plan on using a library computer to access the internet.

So where is the open source  education  movement taking us? Despite the enthusiasm of many, I do not foresee the destruction of the over priced higher  education  system (bubble?) any time soon. Although, it would be an interesting case study to submit a few resumes with a list of watched YouTube videos as one’s  education  credentials. The open source  education  movement will have an effect, however, in the industry that produces supplemental  education  materials. There is a whole section of “Learn Calculus Fast!” style  education  books that could be disappearing off the shelves of your local book store (if your local book store hasn’t already disappeared). How are they to compete with interactive online materials, video lectures, and discussion forums for these subjects? Quite frankly, I don’t see how they can.

More interesting than the business impact of the open source  education  movement is the psychology behind it. What is driving people to produce their own YouTube videos solving calculus problems? Or spending their evenings in a forum devoted to organic chemistry, helping students with difficulty understanding the concepts? Economists and psychologists came together to find what motivates people to contribute to open source projects and found three primary motivators. Challenge, mastery, and making a contribution are the driving force behind all open source projects. These three elements are clearly prominent in the case of the open source  education  movement and one can add in the “joy of teaching” as an additional motivator. It is for these reasons that I agree with Mr. Gates that not only will the best  education  soon be available on the web, but that it will also be free.

Online Education Website Selection – Part 2

While course selection and software are important when selecting an  online   education  website, there are a number of other areas you should consider including free evaluation, free courses, testimonials, reviews and pricing each of which is discussed in turn below.

Free Evaluation

While you may have to register or buy a course, make sure there is a free evaluation period and a no questions asked money back guarantee. Working with the product is the best way to evaluate the site. A free online evaluation allows you to see if the site matches your goals and objectives from your self-assessment.

Free Courses

Another way to evaluate  online   education  websites is by taking the free  online  classes, if they are offered. While the online subjects offered for free may be very basic or not quite what you are interested in, working with the product in real time is the best form of evaluation.


While these should not be your sole source upon which to make a decision, you should review these. What do they say? How many can you find? Who is providing them? Testimonials, while many times are self-serving and are provided by the website you are reviewing, will give you an idea of what individuals like about the site and what they found beneficial. Hopefully, the testimonials will highlight areas you identify in your self-assessment.


Reviews, especially independent reviews, are very beneficial to your decision. Reviews will confirm the quality of the online learning website and talk about the best features the website offers.


Does the site offer individual course pricing? Package pricing? Bulk pricing? Review the pricing structure to ensure it is flexible enough to address any of your learning needs. Of course, you should consider pricing and a budget as part of your self-assessment.If you pick a site using the criteria discussed above and those from Part I, you will not have to worry about picking a bad online learning site.

Online Education – Do You Want To Return To School?

In our rapidly changing global world, millions of students are currently taking college-level online (distance education) classes. Private and public universities in the United States and abroad are offering Certificate, Baccalaureate, Masters and Doctoral degree programs over the Internet to adult learners. From Ivy League to Community Colleges, an increasing number of students can log on to their classes from home, work or while commuting by bus and train. Adult learners frequently juggle a myriad of responsibilities including raising children, career, and care giving for senior parents. Formerly, a university of interest may have been out of reach geographically. Presently, an employee located in the United States can register for classes taught half way around the world. Non-traditional venues outside of the more traditional classroom offer viable opportunities for continuing one’s education.

Adult learners make up the largest demographic of post-secondary institutions in the United States. For this student group, the benefits of online academic programs are:

o To update current skill sets

o To learn new skill sets

o To earn an undergraduate or graduate level degree

o The fulfillment of academic requirements necessary for a current job or promotion

o To change careers

o The satisfaction of certification or licensure requirements

o Personal and spiritual growth and development

Not for the faint of heart, success in distance education academic programs requires high levels of stamina, discipline, and motivation. A good candidate must be computer literate, possess the ability to read massive amounts of material in short-time frames, have good writing and communication skills, hold high expectations for good grades, enjoy applying critical thinking and commit a minimum of 15 hours per week per course (be prepared to allocate more, if necessary).

The Internet and the World Wide Web provide the critical technology platform for distance education. University technological and operational infrastructures (including hardware, software and transmission) provide the additional cornerstones to the technology platform needed to execute distance education programs. The delivery of academic content may be accomplished in several formats. The more traditional venues are correspondence courses, videos, audio-cassettes, CD-ROMS, and broadcasts via television and radio. Modern formats include synchronous and/or asynchronous education content distribution channels. Synchronous delivery refers to real-time interaction between instructor and student i.e., two-way video-conferences, whiteboards, chat rooms, telephone software (ex. Skype), and mobile technology devices. Asynchronous interaction does not involve real time communication. Instead, interaction between instructor and student is accomplished through the use of e-mail, DVDs, and the traditional education delivery formats.

As a student, you will need a desktop or laptop computer, an Internet Service provider, a cell phone, software (i.e., word processor, financial spreadsheet, calendar and Power Point), a backup storage disk drive (nothing can make your heart drop faster than losing a body of work that you’ve diligently developed), a headset with microphone for virtual team discussions and the traditional school supplies. Optional technology may include memory upgrades, scanners, digital scanners, and fax machines.

Ten Tips For The Successful Online Student:

o Have a credit card or debit card ready for downloading e-books and other required course reading materials.

o Maintain a list of more than one bookstore in the event that a required textbook is sold out. It’s always a good idea to obtain a list of the required textbooks midway through the term and order in advance for the following term.

o Do not be shy about asking for help if needed. I cannot stress enough the importance of communicating openly with your professor or instructor about course material that you may not understand. Online academic programs tend to move rapidly and course content that you do not understand will most likely cause problems down the road resulting in frustration and possibly, lower grades.

o Seek out a tutor. If there are areas that you know need strengthening, even before the class begins, have a tutor on stand-by. Also, the telephone number of a computer specialist should be in your rolodex.

o Time management will be critical. Keep a planner. Read your syllabus as soon as it becomes available and plan accordingly.

o Uphold your responsibilities as a virtual team member. Your contributions will directly impact the team grade.

o Exercise. Long hours at the computer can cause strain on the neck, shoulder, arm and back muscles, not to mention the hands. Remember to periodically stretch and tone.

o Eat a healthy diet. Keep good healthy recipes handy. Hydrate. Avoid heavy snacking on calorie-laden food and instead eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Avoid white flour and choose high fiber grains.

o See your doctor. A healthy body feeds a healthy mind.

o Stay in contact with your Academic Advisor to be sure that you are satisfying the requirements needed to complete your degree.

In the Fall term of 2006, 3.5 million students representing 20% of all U.S. higher education students, took at least one online course (2007. The Sloan Consortium). It is projected that distance education will continue to grow in popularity domestically and internationally. The most commonly offered online academic programs are Business, Computer Science and Engineering, Education, Engineering, Library Science, Nursing, and Public Health. Whether you select a community college, public institution, private institution or Ivy League university, enjoy the learning experience.

© 2007-2008 Jeanna Foy-Stanley