Despite the growing popularity of distance learning, many people still hesitate to enroll in an online school. Their knowledge may include misconceptions that keep them from taking online high schools and universities seriously. This is unfortunate, since distance learning has a lot of advantages for working people who wish to continue their education or people who are in situations that make attendance in traditional schools difficult.
Online education is expensive. Truth: Many online schools offer reasonable tuition fee rates, and, in the case of online high schools, there are state-sponsored charter schools that offer distance learning for free. One should also consider that some expenses such as transportation, food and textbooks no longer apply, since schoolwork can be done at home and course materials are available online.
Getting credit for courses one has already taken from another school can lower expenses. This way, a student does not need to pay for all the courses in the curriculum. Some schools also give credit to knowledge gained through relevant life experiences.
There are also those who think that the quality of education in an online school is lower than in traditional schools. But then, all schools, traditional or online, are not made equal, and the quality varies from one institution to another. Some ways to gauge the quality of education being offered include checking a school’s accreditation and student support, asking to attend a trial class and getting feedback from past and current students and faculty.
It is also not true that distance learning is easier or less challenging that the work done in traditional schools. It is true that students have more flexibility in terms of schedule, since they are allowed to work at their own pace. But this also means that, for the same workload, they have to be more motivated and disciplined to be able to complete the course work on time and to get their degree within a reasonable period.
Students are isolated and lacking in socialization. Truth: Socialization can happen outside the classroom. Distance learners connect with people in their neighborhood or community. Some course assignments require collaboration with other students like themselves.
Myth number 5 is that online schools are not respectable, compared to traditional schools. The truth is that, respectability is not an issue as long as the school has the proper accreditation. In fact, would-be students are advised not to choose institutions that are not accredited or still in the process of accreditation.
Getting a degree from a properly accredited school also ensures that the credits earned there can be transferred to another school, whether it’s also an online school or a traditional school. It also makes it easier for employers to accept, especially if the degree is from an institution associated with a traditional school, such as universities that offer online degree programs.