About Online Degrees

What is an Online Degree?

Online degree's are also referred to as distance education and can be a combination of web-based, hybrid or video conferencing. 

Web-based - 100% of the course is in an online format where the student interacts asynchronously with the instructor and their peers. 

Hybrid - This setting has a format where students will meet between 33% and 75% of the time in a web-based format and the rest occurs in a classroom. 

Video Conferencing - This format is also known as Interactive Distance Learning, where students meet synchronously on site or at a remote site at a specific day and time. Students can visually see and interact with peers and the instructor.  

What is Learning at  Distance Like?

Distance education is a convenient way for people with busy schedules to take courses. In addition to offering students far more flexibility in their daily routine, students who have many other commitments tend to find the distance environment an attractive alternative to the traditional environment. Some of the advantages of distance learning are:

Learners attend a “virtual classroom” so that there is no need to travel to the campus. Learners attend their virtual classroom at hours that fit their own personal daily schedule. Although there often are weekly deadlines to meet, learners can typically work on material throughout the week at their own pace. Learners work under the guidance of their instructors and are able to maintain regular contact via e-mail, telephone, and various other technologies.

Learning at a distance is not for everyone. To be a successful distance learner you must have:   

  • Routine access to a computer, whether it is at home or in a lab with an internet connection.  A fast internet connection is a plus, but not a requirement.
  • Good reading and writing skills.
  • Discipline and organization.
  • Be self-motivated and responsible in his/her independent studies.
  • Be able to set aside blocks of time weekly to read material, do the assignments, and take part in virtual classroom discussions.
  • Be willing to adhere to the University policies on academic honesty.

Is Learning at a Distance For You?

Distance learners tend to be full-time employees, parents, students with special needs, students who live a great distance from the campus, or students with many other time commitments. All are highly motivated, self-disciplined, and able to follow and learn from written directions. To determine if you are suited to a distance learning environment, answer the questions in the survey as accurately as possible.

Common pitfalls for distance learners are:

  • Easily distracted by outside interference and get behind in their readings and assignments.
  • Quickly jump into the course without reading the course documents and directions.
  • Don't participate in the online classroom discussions.
  • Don't take advantage of the supplemental materials often provided to them by their instructors.