Project #70315 - essay

Essay Writing 

Use the following reading as support to respond to the prompt. You may use a paper dictionary.  

Prompt:  Online education is becoming more common in higher education. There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing an online education program. Should colleges and universities offer more distance learning opportunities for students?

Your essay response must:

  • be a minimum of 5 paragraphs in length
  • include all parts of the essay
  • properly cite a minimum of 4 appropriate quotes/paraphrases from the texts

Online Degree Programs: An Overview

Lee, M. (2014). Online Degree Programs: An Overview. Points of View: Online Degree Programs, 1.

Online degree programs, also known as distance degrees or distance learning programs, make use of various Internet technologies to enable individuals to complete coursework toward associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, or advanced graduate degrees without traveling to a physical campus. Rather than sitting in a traditional classroom, students learn on their home computers through email, dedicated course sites, and multimedia. Students also interact with teachers and classmates using online chat or forum software. Online degree programs are also convenient for institutions because they can provide updated and expanded learning materials instead of only relying on potentially outdated textbooks.

Many online degree programs are offered by reputable institutions, such as Harvard University, Columbia University and Cornell University, which possess current accreditation; some online degree programs are entirely virtual operations with no physical campus at all. Increasingly, schools with established reputations are adding online programs to their existing offerings. About 96 percent of all large colleges and universities in the United States offer some form of distance learning. These programs often offer significant advantages in terms of cost and convenience. In addition, as various forms of nontraditional higher education become more common, some students who have little conventional academic experience may still be able to earn degrees.

Despite their popularity, online degree programs have their detractors. Critics reason that no virtual learning environment, no matter how advanced, can replace lively face-to-face discussions between teachers and students, or the ability for learners to receive immediate feedback. Some subjects are viewed as difficult to adapt to online instruction. Other opponents point out that online courses make it harder to prevent academic dishonesty by students, and note that some courses of study require practical, hands-on experience that cannot be easily replicated in an online classroom.

Potential employers may still consider online degrees inferior to traditional degrees when considering job candidates-partly because many degree-granting institutions are simply too young to have gained a reputation for excellence. Some employers are also wary of life experience credits and may not consider their value equivalent to traditional course credits.

On the other side of the debate, educators, administrators, and students who are involved in online degree programs argue that such courses are just as rigorous as their traditional counterparts. Because students are responsible for setting their own schedules and actively participating in virtual discussions (often while simultaneously holding a full-time job), online classes may even require more effort and dedication than conventional ones. In addition, online degree programs make it possible for nontraditional students, especially working adults who may never have attended college, to have access to an education without sacrificing work or family commitments. Online degree programs help to overcome barriers of entry caused by geographical location, and open up educational options for students in countries across the world.

Online degree programs have become ubiquitous in the twenty-first century. They are no longer an unusual phenomenon, and for many students, they are the first option-not the last resort-for continuing education. One 2011 study of online learning in the United States reported that over 6.1 million students took online courses in fall 2010, an increase of 560,000 students over 2009 numbers. This ten percent growth rate is far greater than the one percent growth rate for overall higher education enrollment in 2010. Analysts believe that the field is poised for even more growth and expansion.

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Due By (Pacific Time) 05/07/2015 01:10 am
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