Last Updated on August 9, 2022
Studying Sports Related Topics Online in 2022
Not long ago, there was a time when online education was widely considered to be inferior and not as rigorous as in person instruction. This thinking was already evolving before COVID-19 completely changed the academic landscape.
Nowadays, online learning is widely accepted as a part of every higher education in the US and around the world. Just as so many other parts of our life have moved online, online degree programs, online certifications, and online masters programs have now taken a huge leap forward, and the quality of an online degree program is now considered to be on par with industry standard in-person degrees.
In this new world, It is easy to see how high quality online educational courses benefit both universities and colleges as well as students and educators. Technology allows institutions of higher learning to interface with more students in a cost-effective way.
Students can take advantage of the flexible format that allows them to fit their education into their busy lives. Faculty are able to reach a broader audience with the lessons and ideas that they are passionate about. And needless to say, online degree programs will always be unaffected by environmental factors.
The more you think about it, the more reasons there are why online education programs have grown exponentially in recent years. Topping them all, perhaps, is cost effectiveness. Current and prospective students alike admit that cost considerations ultimately led them to finish part or all of their degree online.
Because online offerings tend to be more affordable than attending courses in person on campus, these courses can lower the total cost of a degree program while also putting prestegious degree options – which were often prohibitively expensive – back into reach of students who are still exploring their educational options.
A key part of this is credit transfers – since some programs allow credit transfers, many college and graduate students are taking advantage of online options to get caught up–or even get ahead–by taking courses online during otherwise quiet times of the year which can then be transferred to their home academic institution.
Another major reason that students often mention when discussing why they have chosen to complete an online bachelor’s degree or master’s degree is the flexibility that online courses allow.
Students are allowed to complete reading and assignments on their own schedule, with specific meeting times for class participation and group projects set at regular times. This scheduling model allows people to complete their degree while also tending to important responsibilities and life commitments at the same time, instead of having to leave life behind to pursue their degree on-campus full time.
For those who work full time, this type of flexibility could allow for them to continue advancing in their industry while also keeping pace with the latest technological advancements. And since online courses remove geographical barriers, students can always choose to pursue programs that are the best fit for their needs and interests, rather than settling for a program that does not suit their needs as well just because it is closer to home.
Online course designs cater to various styles of learning
Simply put, online courses and degrees are a better fit for some learning styles. Instead of an in-person lecture in a large hall, online courses feature videos and lessons which can be watched and reviewed as many times as needed. This relieves a great deal of pressure, as students can set their own pace and process complex information in a way that allows for the material to be internalized, and it even allows for other lessons (which might be more familiar) to be sped up.
Most online courses also have dedicated forums or chat rooms that create space for–and encourage–instantaneous feedback and support while also fostering a sense of community that has an entirely different feel than in-person classes.
Online learning allows for both synchronous and non-synchronous educational opportunities
Some courses naturally must be taught and understood in real time, which often means interaction between the instructor and students, live conferencing, active discussions. Technical courses, like some computer programming classes or language acquisition instruction, are better suited to synchronous styles.
Motivation manifests in different ways with different students, and some may discover that the deadlines and accountability found with classes in a synchronous format suits them better. This format is very similar to a traditional class or lecture hall setting, but importantly it still allows students to enjoy the benefits of online learning mentioned above, like flexibility and affordability.
The other major style of online learning is asynchronous, meaning that the course materials and lectures are pre-recorded and posted into an online resource center and can be referenced at any time. Students can then work their way through the curriculum at their own pace, completing assignments which will be used to evaluate their understanding of the subject material as they progress through the course.
Unlike with the synchronous format, which is designed to resemble traditional classroom learning, asynchronous courses tend to be well suited for students who have time constraints or learning requirements that don’t fit into the standard model of education. Some of these courses also allow for repeat or extended access, which can be very beneficial if the subject matter is related to a professional certification or technical expertise that the student may need to revisit or review at a later time to brush up on vital knowledge.
What is an online degree?
Online degree programs and online education generally can be designed in several different ways to suit students with varying needs.
Since the main feature of digital or online education is its flexibility, these programs by their very nature are more accessible to more potential students than traditional degrees. Whereas standard in-person programs work on very rigid timelines and require students to be physically present for a considerable amount of time, online degrees have relatively few restrictions or limitations.
Due to this inherent versatility, online education is much more customizable than in-person learning. And since individuals are not limited to schools that are geographically nearby, it is infinitely easier to choose the exact program type and degree specialization that suits your needs best.
Here are some interesting statistics to consider which were recently featured in an article posted by Northeastern University:
- 61 percent of HR leaders firmly believe that online learning is of equal or greater quality to more traditional methods.
- 71 percent of organizations indicated that they had hired a job applicant with an online degree in the last 12 months.
- 52 percent believe that, in the future, most advanced degrees will be completed online.
- 33 percent believe that, enabled by technology, online education will ultimately be better than traditional face-to-face instruction.
Why should I consider an online degree?
As described above, online degrees offer incredible customization and flexibility. Online degree programs allow students the freedom to study at their own pace and schedule, allowing students to advance their qualifications without having to put the rest of life on hold to attend a traditional in-person degree program. The format of online learning makes it far easier to accommodate other parts of life while also getting the professional development needed to be your best self.
Something that is also important to note, however, is just because some of the requirements of online learning may be less rigid does not mean that it is easy. Online degrees and courses can often be just as rigorous and challenging in terms of academic standards, time commitment, and deliverables expected.
Here is a key thing to know from the start as you determine what your best options are — not all online degree programs are created equal. So it is imperative to do your due diligence and learn as much about each online degree program before making a decision.
Five steps for choosing an online bachelor’s degree program:
- Admission requirements – Admission requirements for bachelor’s degree programs can vary a great deal from school to school. Some universities and colleges are more selective, requiring students to demonstrate prior studies or proficiencies. Others may require all prospective students to submit standardized test scores or placement exams. It is very important to research these requirements before settling on a program to gain a good understanding of what the application process entails to be sure the program is a good fit.
- What is their policy on transferring credit hours? – It is important to know how open the academic institution is to transferring credit hours, as this is a major factor for many students. For individuals who are currently enrolled in other majors or programs who are eager to change their major, the ability to apply credits for previously completed coursework could be a significant factor in deciding which program is best for them. If you are unsure about the status of credits that you are hoping to transfer, be sure to consult with admissions officers and relevant department heads at schools you are considering prior to making a final decision on which program is the best fit.
- Does this program have the specialized classes that I am hoping to study while getting my degree? Bachelor’s degree programs offer a core of courses that are required study, and these classes are designed to introduce students to the various areas of the overall field. However since there are an array of specialties to explore within the field. For students who are starting a degree with the goal of exploring specialty studies, it is imperative to choose a program that features offerings in the subject areas of interest.
- Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Tuition – Tuition fees charged by a given school is always an important consideration for prospective students. However, don’t be scared away by a program with a high tuition sticker price without first exploring what kinds of financial assistance might be available for every program and school being considered. Financial aid can often offset most or all tuition at even more expensive schools for some qualified students.
- School reputation – As with any higher education degree program, the school’s reputation among potential employers can play a huge role in how successful a post-graduate career can be. To maximize the return from the time and financial cost of a degree, choose a school that is well respected within a particular field.