We live in a society where the line between myth and reality is often blurred. The premise of a myth can manifest itself from a host of misperceptions. The myths that still permeate our society regarding online education and the adult learner are either outdated or based upon fear of the unknown. It is the students who, with the help of their formal and informal support networks, have debunked these myths by succeeding in their online studies and in life.
1. Online degree programs are not as valuable as a traditional degree program
To dispel this myth all you have to do is ask any adult learner who has successfully completed their degree through a reputable and accredited online program. The myth that online degrees are substandard is founded on recent scandals at irreputable institutions, now mostly closed, that did not provide the academic rigor as promised. More established colleges and universities, including some of the most prestigious schools in this country, are now instituting online programs to meet the growing needs of their adult student population.
2. An online degree program is not as challenging as a traditional program
Online degree programs can be challenging, and are sometimes even more difficult than some of their on-campus counterparts because they require the adult learner to be more self-disciplined and manage their time effectively. However, the convenience of online degrees is the tipping point that enables many adult learners the opportunity to earn their degrees while working around their own schedule.
3. Online students are isolated from their professor and classmates
This myth might have some credence due to the physical disconnect between the professor and the student. However, this kind of disconnect can happen regardless of whether the student is on campus or online. With today’s technology, students have more opportunities to be connected to their faculty and their fellow classmates than ever before. More importantly, quality online programs are exercising phenomenal leadership and innovative approaches to engage students and significantly reduce or eliminate this feeling of disconnect.
R. Lee Viar IV, Ph.D., MBA, CPI, President, ANTSHE, [email protected]