How to Tell if Online Education is for You


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How to Tell if Online Education is for You

Online education is expanding rapidly, both in scope and level of general acceptance. Many chief educational officers even believe that online education has superior outcomes to traditional coursework. But online education isn’t for everyone. Here are some questions to determine if it’s the right path for you.

Online Learning is Massively Popular
America has 21 Million Postsecondary students[1][2]
1/3 take at least one online course
That’s 7.1 million students A YEAR

With 769,000 taking their entire program online.
(Or 1/8 of those taking at least one online class)

But not for everyone…

Questions to ask yourself before starting an online program:

Are you a self starter?

Yes: 5 Points
No: -5 Points

Professors aren’t looking over your shoulder. You need skills:

Time Management

Do you want to be able to take classes from wherever you are?

Yes: 5 Points
No: 0 Points

No sweat, there are a variety of options:

[proportion of content delivered online, title, description][4]
0% || Traditional || Content delivered in writing or orally.
1-29% ||Web Facilitated || A face-to-face course with syllabi, assignments, or interactions posted online.
30-79% ||Blended/Hybrid || Reduced number of face-to-face meetings, sometimes as low as 1-2 a semester. Uses online discussions and online delivery of course content.
80+% || Online || Almost all content delivered online. Typically no face-to-face meetings.

Can you take the program you want online?

Yes: 5 Points
No: -10 Points

Most Popular Online Degrees:
1. Business
2.Computer and Information Technology
3.Criminal Justice
4. Nursing
5. Education
6. Healthcare
7. Communications
8. Psychology

Do you enjoy writing and participating in a discussion forum?

Yes: 5 Points
No: -5 Points

Two modes of online learning:

Chat Rooms
Video Chats

Discussion Boards

Better dialogue with extra time to compose thoughts.
Writing skills necessary!

Are you prepared to potentially pay more than you would for a traditional

Yes: 5 Points
No: -5 Points

Traditional Public 4-year college: $8,893[7][8]
Private Online College (Capella University): $22,912
Private Traditional 4-year College: $30,094
Other Factors:
Malone University–a $120 “online distributed learning tuition fee” for each course.[6]
Blended programs require travel.

Does your career of choice require a degree?

Yes: 10 Points
No: -10 Points

MOOCs— enhance a skill set and use it at work, even if you don’t get certification for the course work.
Sidenote: MOOCs are Massively Open Online Courses, often free, and sometimes for certificates, many MOOCs focus on skills.
Certificates— are offered for many skill-based programs, yet aren’t technically a degree. Many technical jobs prefer or require applicants to be certified in certain skills.
Online Undergraduate Degrees— are offered by many programs. Many programs don’t even note a difference on transcripts between online and traditional programs.

Do you want to be part of the changing landscape of higher education?

Yes: 5 Points
No: 0 Points

66% of Academic Organizations believe online education is critical to long-term strategy.[1]
75.9% of those who have online offerings
14.3% of those who don’t have online offerings

% schools offering online courses[3]
61% Liberal Arts Schools
79% Research Universities
82% Community Colleges

If you scored more than 25, going to school online is probably a good fit for you.