Online Degrees Not Worth the Paper They’re Not Printed On?
Posting has been a little slow around here since this is December, and you know what that means for academics. It doesn’t help that my university decided to shut off the heat in most of its buildings for two weeks to save money. So here I am, working from home, when I came across a post by Tony Karrer pointing me to this little video from Saturday Night Live. It’s not fantastic (very little SNL is these days, of course), but it does deliver an interesting message about online education, and by extension, online training.
This is certainly satire, but it does reflect a very real perception about online education. The question is, what is the cause? Is it because online education is less expensive than traditional education, and people think cheap reflects a lack of quality? Is it because online education requires less time, and people think online degree seekers are less serious about their education? Is it because people think online education simply cannot be as effective as traditional instruction, despite evidence to the contrary? And even if this is a common public perception, is it shared by the people making hiring decisions?
So then, I suppose this is the real concern: how would hiring managers rank-order the value of degrees from the following list: bachelor’s from a university, bachelor’s from a SLAC, bachelor’s from a CC, associate’s from a university, associate’s from a SLAC, associate’s from a CC, and the equivalents from online schools. As far as I know, there is no research available to answer this question… yet.
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