Research paper First Draft
Online Degree Should Not Be Underestimated
Nowadays, with the development of the internet, online education is becoming a significant trend that gives more people the opportunity to expand their field of knowledge. MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), for instance, allows anyone with an Internet connection to log on and learn (Grauer), with making learning more convenient. It changes many people's obsolete definition of a college classroom. Some universities, such as the University of Phoenix, begin to give students an online degree in certain majors.
A majority of people chooses to pursue an online degree after they graduate from a four-year college. The main reason for that are problems with finding a job with their current degree. They feel if they had not learnt anything from their four years education in college. “Many individuals with degrees are struggling to land jobs - government statistics indicate that 53.6 percent of bachelor's degree holders under age 25 were jobless or underemployed last year. And the required skill sets for the workplace are changing rapidly” (Grauer). Then what is the meaning of the expensive tuition fee and all the resources spent on learning, when the degree acquired does not even get the graduate a place to work? Online education, however, is more targeted at scientific and technical criterions that are more job-related, than traditional college education, which is considered more theoretical.
However, online education is neither suitable for everyone, nor for every course. “To be successful in online coursework, students need to be relatively technologically savvy, self-disciplined, and capable of absorbing complicated material independently” (Ginn and Hammond). Due to the lack of interaction with the instructor and classmates, students need to put more effort in comprehending the material, and knowledge they learn from the lecture. Online courses are not necessarily easier than the equivalent college courses, with the class materials being the same students receive less assistance from professor and teaching assistant. Also, science or engineer courses dominate among the online courses. Literature and art courses are more preferred for in-class interaction and peer review than lectures and assignments.
Another problem with online degree is that many people tend to think of it as being unreliable. They state that online education lacks practice, and communication. However, most online education systems have a “discussion board”, which allows students to interact with each other and even with the professor at certain times.
Despite the limitations of online education, many people are still attracted with the idea of achieving an online degree, as it gives people the ability to expand further in their career. "This means that the initiative to take a free online course on programming can be a key element that helps an art history major be a more viable candidate for a position at a tech company - possibly even as a programmer” (Grauer). Many online degrees present on the market are designed to meet the demand of the employers.
In conclusion, online education, as a new type of education system, still has a number of disadvantages and limitations. However, it makes knowledge and class materials more easily accessible and convenient. Furthermore, compared to the traditional four-year college education, online education is more efficient and more specifically targeted. Online education, as a still -developing subject, should be more paid great attention to, and not underestimated.
Ginn, Martha, and Augustine Hammond. '“Online Education In Public Affairs: Current State And Emerging Issues”'. Journal of Public Affairs Education 18.2 (2012): 247-270. Web. 7 May. 2014.
Grauer, Andrew. 'Why Online Courseware Can't Replace A 4-Year Degree'. Forbes 2012 : 14. Web. 7 May. 2014.
Griesbaum, Joachim. '"Students As Teachers In Moocs? The Double Gain Of Moocs As An In-Class Teaching Method Experiences From A Student-Made MOOC “Online Data Privacy”"'. International Journal of Information and Education Technology 4.1 (2014): 29-34. Web. 7 May. 2014.