CampusDemocracy .org
Working to Preserve a Fair & Balanced Education
Home | About | Articles | Links | Contact
Online Education and its Intrinsic Values

Some might ask what the value of an online education is versus a more traditional education format. Yet, while the delivery format might be radically different, it is important to realize that many of the same qualities that make a traditionally obtained education valuable and meaningful apply just as equally to an education obtained via an online delivery format. However, we first might want to characterize what is meant by an online versus a more traditional educational delivery format.

The concept of online education is not really a new concept at all but rather an extension of the older distance learning concept. The reasons that made distance learning an extreme value to certain individuals all equally apply to online education as well: quality of learning material, convenience, facility in scheduling, and affordability. Thus, online education is an educational format that relies on Internet delivery to achieve these aforementioned qualities. Samuel Dunn, in the Futurist magazine, describes online education as consisting of a web of assorted educational providers that deliver educational material in terms of time, place, rate, and format according to the needs and demands of the student rather than those of the educational institution. With this in mind it can be said that online education is best characterized as being delivered exclusively via the Internet or, alternatively, in tandem with or completely through the use of email or other Internet related technologies. Because of the Internet and these related technologies, online education has evolved from the realm of fly-by-night diploma mills to being fully embraced by learning institutions at the highest levels of achievement and stature.

So what makes online education so valuable then in comparison to traditionally obtained educational experiences where one physically attends a college or university, sits in classes with desks usually arranged in rows, and listens to a professor drone on over a given topic? First and foremost, online education allows the student to control his or her education. This is a quality that all working adults can appreciate immensely because many of the users of online educational solutions have professional careers, families, and hobbies or interests which all require dedication and commitment in their own right.

The values associated with online education also apply to the profound sense of accomplishment that accompanies the completion of a degree or certificate program regardless of the format with which it was obtained. For example, Harvard University offers a series of certificates as well as degrees that can be obtained through the Harvard Extension School in an online format and none would argue that achieving such a degree or certificate is any less valued or prestigious because it was obtained in an online forum. Additionally, online education is valued by professionals who find the need to obtain certificates, degrees, or related academic qualifications in order to receive a job promotion or increase in salary. For these individuals the value of online education is very real, immediate, and manifest. Finally, it is important to note that online education also fulfils a desire to better one's self through education and personal fulfilment in a fashion that may have nothing to do with job, degrees, or the like. For these individuals online education is an avenue for personal growth and no dollar amount could be placed on its intrinsic value.












Copyright © 2006 - 2007 CampusDemocracy.Org. All Rights Reserved.
About Us | Privacy Policy