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Debates Forum

  1. Behind the scenes
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    13 Oct '16 07:53
    Could someone explain to me why more University's don't offer more degree programs via the internet? With higher education costs out of reach of most students, it would seem to be a good alternative.
  2. Cape Town
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    13 Oct '16 08:091 edit
    Originally posted by mchill
    Could someone explain to me why more University's don't offer more degree programs via the internet? With higher education costs out of reach of most students, it would seem to be a good alternative.
    It is quite complicated to ensure that the students:
    a) get a quality education.
    b) are the ones actually doing the work.
    If you are not looking for credit then there is plenty of free education out there. (my personal favourite is edX - which does also offer actual credit at a price)

    I suspect that you will find that more universities than you realise do actually offer degree programs via the internet, but that they are not particularly cheap.

    Ultimately though, we only need one University to offer such programs for any given course. It is the internet after all.
  3. Joined
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    13 Oct '16 09:54
    Originally posted by mchill
    Could someone explain to me why more University's don't offer more degree programs via the internet? With higher education costs out of reach of most students, it would seem to be a good alternative.
    Maybe they are too busy teaching people elementary spelling and grammar that they should have learned in school: for instance, the difference between "university's" and "universities".
  4. Joined
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    13 Oct '16 12:14
    Originally posted by mchill
    Could someone explain to me why more University's don't offer more degree programs via the internet? With higher education costs out of reach of most students, it would seem to be a good alternative.
    Control.
  5. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    13 Oct '16 12:43
    Originally posted by mchill
    Could someone explain to me why more University's don't offer more degree programs via the internet? With higher education costs out of reach of most students, it would seem to be a good alternative.
    Many do. Even state schools and community colleges are now very often offering degree programs or courses online.

    The only problem is they generally charge the same tuition whether you're in person or online, so it helps with convenience, but not really with cost.

    There are countless online colleges with lower tuition and some (like coursera or Saylor) offer courses for practically nothing, but their certificates or degrees don't carry the same weight as campus-based universities. Plus, government bureaucrats and accreditation agencies have been slow to come around to the idea that online education can be equivalent to in-person education.
  6. Joined
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    13 Oct '16 12:46
    Originally posted by sh76
    Many do. Even state schools and community colleges are now very often offering degree programs or courses online.

    The only problem is they generally charge the same tuition whether you're in person or online, so it helps with convenience, but not really with cost.

    There are countless online colleges with lower tuition and some (like coursera or Saylor) of ...[text shortened]... slow to come around to the idea that online education can be equivalent to in-person education.
    Community college is nothing more than glorified high school. A degree from there is about as good as a high school diploma.

    But if you want a high paying job, you MUST sell out to the snobs who only want Harvard or Yale graduates. To get this, you must pay outrageous tuition fees and live on site for years in order to line their pockets with cash.

    Translation, only the rich can afford to pay for an education that will make their children rich. It's a caste system now.
  7. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    13 Oct '16 12:47
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It is quite complicated to ensure that the students:
    a) get a quality education.
    b) are the ones actually doing the work.
    If you are not looking for credit then there is plenty of free education out there. (my personal favourite is edX - which does also offer actual credit at a price)

    I suspect that you will find that more universities than you real ...[text shortened]... y need one University to offer such programs for any given course. It is the internet after all.
    === It is quite complicated to ensure that the students:
    a) get a quality education.
    b) are the ones actually doing the work. ===

    Not necessarily. Online proctoring solutions like Examity and Proctor U are probably as secure as classroom proctoring. Through college and law school, I never once had to show my ID to take an exam and the proctors were not the same people as the professors and didn't know us personally. It would have been trivial for one person to take another person's exam, especially in law school. Webcam-based proctoring requiring the displaying of an ID is more secure than most campus-based proctoring systems.
  8. Germany
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    13 Oct '16 14:39
    Originally posted by mchill
    Could someone explain to me why more University's don't offer more degree programs via the internet? With higher education costs out of reach of most students, it would seem to be a good alternative.
    There's a fair amount that do, but even so the main reason university lecturers don't do it very often is that they don't have time to do it.

    A more sensible solution to higher education costs being out of reach would be to make them within reach.
  9. Joined
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    13 Oct '16 15:00
    Originally posted by mchill
    Could someone explain to me why more University's don't offer more degree programs via the internet? With higher education costs out of reach of most students, it would seem to be a good alternative.
    I'm don't believe on-line courses are always the same experience. Students can't ask questions, lecturers don't get cues from students which allow them to adjust the pace of the lecture. There is less of group experience and interaction between the students such as study groups. It is more difficult to speak to a professor (chat room vs. in-person). Often there are more people in the class so there are machine graded exams vs. written exams.
    This doesn't mean we shouldn't have on-line classes or that they shouldn't be cheaper. They just aren't necessarily equivalent situations.
  10. Cape Town
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    13 Oct '16 15:10
    Originally posted by whodey
    Community college is nothing more than glorified high school. A degree from there is about as good as a high school diploma.

    But if you want a high paying job, you MUST sell out to the snobs who only want Harvard or Yale graduates. To get this, you must pay outrageous tuition fees and live on site for years in order to line their pockets with cash.

    Tr ...[text shortened]... can afford to pay for an education that will make their children rich. It's a caste system now.
    So I take it you will be voting for Hillary given that she is more likely to make obtaining a degree easier and cheaper than Trump.
  11. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    13 Oct '16 15:143 edits
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I'm don't believe on-line courses are always the same experience. Students can't ask questions, lecturers don't get cues from students which allow them to adjust the pace of the lecture. There is less of group experience and interaction between the students such as study groups. It is more difficult to speak to a professor (chat room vs. in-person). ...[text shortened]... classes or that they shouldn't be cheaper. They just aren't necessarily equivalent situations.
    Incorrect.

    Many schools now use synchronous live classrooms where students can ask questions in the middle of class via a microphone and/or an in-class chat board.

    Business meeting software is accepted as a perfectly valid way to hold a meeting between people thousands of miles apart. The same technology can be (and often is) used for the classroom.

    As for class size, there doesn't need to be a difference between an online class and in-person class. I've taught online classes with 6 students and some large classroom classes at big schools are famous for cramming 500 people into a lecture hall.

    Edit:

    http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/users/f/felwell/www/Theorists/Essays/Elwell%20files/lecture-hall.jpeg

    Go tell me that these students are benefiting so much from interaction with their professor.
  12. Cape Town
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    13 Oct '16 15:16
    Originally posted by sh76
    Not necessarily. Online proctoring solutions like Examity and Proctor U are probably as secure as classroom proctoring.
    I don't know a lot about it, but presumably whatever system is used, it isn't cost free.

    Certainly university lectures when delivered online are virtually free to reproduce and have just as much learning value if not more than the same lecture in a classroom.
    Reading materials are also a lot cheaper to provide with the advent of computers (although this isn't necessarily unique to online learning).
    What will still cost money and is tutoring, identity verification and anything practical.
    Overall however an online degree should cost far less than an offline one and for many subjects should not be impossible or even difficult to arrange.
  13. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    13 Oct '16 15:20
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I don't know a lot about it, but presumably whatever system is used, it isn't cost free.

    Certainly university lectures when delivered online are virtually free to reproduce and have just as much learning value if not more than the same lecture in a classroom.
    Reading materials are also a lot cheaper to provide with the advent of computers (although th ...[text shortened]... than an offline one and for many subjects should not be impossible or even difficult to arrange.
    Less, yes. But far less? Not necessarily.

    Physical classroom buildings are only a small part of a college's budget. Online schools save in classrooms, but their admissions staff, financial aid staff, faculty, student services staffs, etc. are the same and their technology budgets are generally higher per student.
  14. Cape Town
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    13 Oct '16 15:23
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I'm don't believe on-line courses are always the same experience.
    I would argue that the online experience is often better. I have done quite a lot of online courses myself (for the free, valueless 'certificate'.). It was a great advantage to be able to do it for free, do it from home, manage my own time, rewind and replay the videos, pause the videos to look up stuff online etc. I also like that collaboration with other students is often optional. Some people benefit a lot from that and others do not. I would say that online learning is a lot more flexible and allows different learning styles.

    I am also a graduate from a brick and mortar university so I do know what experiences one may get there. If we had the online option back then I might have finished my degree in half the time at a fraction of the cost and actually learned much more. Many of the students that failed to complete their degrees would have had the opportunity to keep going until they did complete instead of having to give up.
  15. Joined
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    13 Oct '16 15:24
    Originally posted by sh76
    Incorrect.

    Many schools now use synchronous live classrooms where students can ask questions in the middle of class via a microphone and/or an in-class chat board.

    Business meeting software is accepted as a perfectly valid way to hold a meeting between people thousands of miles apart. The same technology can be (and often is) used for the classroom.

    As ...[text shortened]... e large classroom classes at big schools are famous for cramming 500 people into a lecture hall.
    While you can have discussions on line, it's not exactly the same as being in a room. A lot of learning -- even academic leaning -- on a university setting is done by being immersed in the same place. There are side conversations before/ after/ during class and often I'd meet people in class and we'd study together (something less likely in an on-line environment).
    While, I am sure it could be a great class, one teacher for six students isn't the ratio that will significantly lower costs.
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