Online college courses, university classes, and even degree programs are all available to both traditional and nontraditional students alike, but there are questions as to whether these online programs are beneficial for students who are taking their courses on the Internet and through a distance education program at either an online university or a major, established educational institution. There are some who question whether online college classes are helpful, beneficial, or are even up to the standards that major universities have set, but there are those who feel that online courses can offer a wide range of perks that a traditional college class does not.
According to an article on USNews.com, “In the coming decade, experts say, college students should expect an increased presence of online classes at traditional nonprofit schools. Already, about 30 percent of American college students take at least one course online,” and there are even major universities who are offering accredited courses, like MBA programs, online through distance education courses. Obviously, some students and officials feel that if a university that is well-established and happens to be a major educational institution is offering an online course, degree program, or simple distance education classes, students taking these courses will be relatively safe in terms of getting a quality education from a reputable institution.
Yet, there are some online colleges that are not accredited or may not offer a quality education to a student, despite the fact that many are still granting college degrees in a variety of subjects. Major online universities that are accredited, though, do offer nontraditional students the options of either taking courses online or earning their degree over the Internet, but again, many wonder if this is as beneficial as a traditional college class. While there are some areas where online universities and traditional colleges may be similar, like offering student financial assistance or even the option of going to a campus to speak with professors or officials, which is the case for certain reputable online institutions, there are those who feel that online colleges can go beyond simply allowing nontraditional students to earn an education.
Some of the arguments being made by major universities who are offering these online programs is that students who may be in a particular program, like again an MBA program at a major university, will not only give students the option to interact with their professor but there are students from across the nation or even in other countries that will also be able to share ideas, perspectives, and interact with those in these online courses which could give a broader “classroom” experience than a traditional college class could. Also, there are those who feel that, in the future, entry-level courses or lecture classes, where a professor simply teaches a subject to a large number of students can be replaced with online courses as there is usually a small amount of interaction in these general education classes.
However, for students who are looking for online college and university classes or degree programs, looking for options from a major university can be helpful, as there are certain schools that are offering degrees online through distance education courses, but if an online university is, for a certain student, seen to be their best option, advisers highly stress that choosing an accredited University that is well-established and will offer the best possible online education should be one of the primary focus points for these nontraditional students looking for a way to earn their degree.