Category: Finding the University for You
How many times have you found yourself taping a checklist to the door of the refrigerator so that you will not forget that all-important chore? A checklist is just a mnemonic that aids us when human fallacies like forgetfulness take over our normally efficient brain. Such a list will also come in handy when you decide to enroll for an online degree, the only difference being that this particular sheet of paper should be chockfull of questions that you should get satisfactory answers to before making your school and degree choice. I can almost read the question in your mind now, what questions should this list incorporate? The following suggestions are not exhaustive, but they should give you a good starting point, after which you can tailor your questions to the institutions and degrees you narrow down.
- Find out if the institution is accredited. If it is in the process of being reviewed for accreditation, ensure that the process will be complete before you enroll.
- Calculate your expenses for the entire study period taking into account your tuition fees, the scholarships and federal loans you may be eligible for, the cost of your books, and any other costs you may incur. Be sure to check for hidden and additional costs thoroughly before you commit yourself to signing up.
- Obtain details about the instructors who will be handling your online classes. If possible, get firsthand information on their teaching methods and skills from alumni of the course. Also enquire about the number of students that constitutes a class; you don’t want to be one in a crowd.
- Get adequate information about your hardware and software requisites before enrolling for a particular course.
- The size and history of the school do matter, because, all said and done, a school that’s been around a longer time has more experience to offer. So do some probing to find out the strength of the college and how many graduates it has produced.
- Make of list of phone numbers and email ids of people you can approach for academic or administrative aid. Most important, find out when they will be available for guidance; you don’t want to be interrupting their personal life just because your degree is flexible.
- Though most schools promise an expedited graduation process, go through your course requirements thoroughly, assess the pace at which you can complete the work, and estimate the time you will need to complete the course. Allow enough latitude for unexpected contingencies and unavoidable delays.
With the advent of online universities and colleges, the pursuit of education is no longer limited to the confines of the four walls of a classroom. A virtual study center can be created right in your home, and you can earn a degree or diploma of your choice from the comfort of your favorite armchair. But how do you choose the best education institute that suits your needs? How do you avoid the numerous online scam operators that prowl the Internet in search of an unsuspecting victim? Here are a few tips to help you decide on the right option for you.
First and foremost, you have to know clearly what you desire from an online education. Is the degree or diploma you earn going to enhance your future job prospects, or are you enrolling in a course just to broaden your horizons? Evaluate the time and effort you can spend on studying and doing assignments, and decide on a schedule that is suited to your daily routine.
The next step is to locate the ideal institution that offers the course you want to take. Check out various options before making your final decision. Browse the information available on the university’s websites, procure information brochures and ask around regarding the credibility of the institution. You certainly don’t want to spend your time and money just to earn a fake degree! So check out the accreditation of the institute you choose very thoroughly before you enroll for any course it offers. A university with the proper recognition will go a long way in brightening your job scenario!
Finally, familiarize yourself with the various facilities offered by the institution. Most universities offer two-way audio/video conferencing facilities, study aids and tutoring options, reference links, library access, technical assistance, discussion threads and interaction with fellow students among a host of other features. Make an informed choice on what option suits your routine the best.
Read more about choosing the best online university.
Students of online education should, from the very beginning be well aware of the precise results they can expect from online education, in order to avoid over expectations and subsequently, disappointment. By being informed of the extent of benefits they can realistically expect, they can eventually determine for themselves the gains they have made from their online lessons.
Students need to be tested for all the knowledge thay have gained from the education. This will help determine whether they have been able to achieve the objectives set initially or not. This makes it important that online testing or alternative methods of testing and assessment are a part and parcel of the online course. Based on this, feedback can be generated.
Proper utilization of learning materials should be available and organized into proper sequence for the learning process. The sequence itself could be progress from simple to complex, known to unknown and kniowledge to application.
Feedback is crucial, as students can make it the basis for assessing their performance and making the necessary alterations if required. Athabasca University reports:
Learners should be told the explicit outcomes of the learning so that they can set expectations and can judge for themselves whether or not they have achieved the outcome of the online lesson. Learners must be tested to determine whether or not they have achieved the learning outcome. Online testing or other forms of testing and assessment should be integrated into the learning sequence to check the learner's achievement level and to provide appropriate feedback.
There are a number of factors one needs to keep in mind to get the most out of online education. First on the list, is to make the right choice. Today there are countless options for online education on the Internet, some of them worthwhile and many being merely money making scams.
Among the most important requirements of a student in online education is self motivation. There is absolutely no one but yourself to push you to complete the course and finish assignments on time.
Most courses offer facilities like interactive tutorials and communication tools. Even if they sound intimidating at first, you need to participate in them for getting the most out of the program.
Finally there are the basic requirements that everybody needs to have to participate in an online education program. A computer is naturally required, as is an Internet connection, preferably a high speed one like broadband. More advanced skills may include familiarity with multimedia and video conferencing. It is advisable that you inquire and find out about minimum technical skills required before signing up for any program. Daily Hampshire Gazette reports:
There are numerous online programs available and selecting the right one is important. One way to weigh the options is to visit www.mco.mass.edu, a site with information about all the institutions in the state with online offerings.