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Fact or Fiction? Test Your Knowledge of Online Learning

The best online colleges provide learning opportunities that rival on-campus programs.

Even as total enrollment numbers fall for all colleges, the number of students enrolling in online universities continues to rise. Today, 33.1% of postsecondary students in the United States are enrolled in distance education courses,1 and thousands of adult learners choose online learning over campus-based programs.

Although millions of students across the U.S. enroll in online courses, several myths persist in the way people talk about online education. For example, you may have heard that online classes are easy or that you can study anywhere at any time. How much of this is true?

Fact or Fiction? Test Your Knowledge of Online Learning

Before you decide if an online program is right for you, be sure to know the facts. Test your knowledge on these questions below and bust myths about online education.

1. Do You Have Scheduled Meeting Times in Online Classes?

Answer: Sometimes.

The answer to this question depends on what online university you choose. Online colleges can offer courses in three formats: synchronous, asynchronous, and self-paced. Synchronous online courses require students to log on to live video chats at specific hours each week. Depending on the professor, these classes may take place during typical work hours, weekends, or evenings.

Both asynchronous and self-paced online classes allow learners to watch lectures and complete discussions on their own schedules. However, asynchronous courses maintain strict deadlines, while self-paced courses allow students to take long breaks. Most course-based programs at Walden use asynchronous learning, but competency-based programs at Walden use a self-paced method.

2. Is an Online Course Easier Than Its In-Person Counterpart?

Answer: No.

Online degree programs and their on-campus counterparts typically cover the same information. In fact, online and in-person classes in certain types of programs must be equally rigorous in order to allow graduates to earn appropriate licenses. For example, the Council on Social Work Education accredits Walden’s online Master’s in Social Work using the same criteria as it uses to evaluate on-campus offerings.

In some cases, online lectures are recordings of on-campus classes. Furthermore, some online courses use the same syllabi and textbooks as on-campus offerings. In addition, certain aspects of online education are more difficult than on-campus learning. For example, asynchronous online classes require learners to develop excellent time management skills.

3. Are Online Educators Second-Rate Faculty?

Answer: Definitely not.

The fact that an educator teaches online students does not take away from their credentials. The best online schools hire experienced professionals to prepare students for successful careers. These educators undergo rigorous training and even win prestigious awards.

4. Do Online Colleges Produce Prepared Graduates?

Answer: Absolutely.

When employers of online graduates were surveyed, the majority believe online degrees are equal to or more valuable than degrees earned in face-to-face settings.2 Several factors contribute to the success of online learners, including:

5. Are Online Colleges Accredited?

Answer: Sometimes.

The best online colleges earn regional accreditation. For example, Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Accreditation assures learners that they are getting high-quality education. Furthermore, accreditation makes it easier for students to transfer their credits and apply for professional certifications.

Bonus: Are Online Degrees Worth It?

Answer: While every student has different needs, online degree programs are definitely a worthwhile pursuit!

Walden University is an accredited university offering online degree and certificate programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

2Source: Walden University 2018 Employer Survey

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,