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Online University Degrees

There is no question the internet has changed society in many ways. Perhaps, one of the greatest revolutions has come in the area of education. As the internet has grown and expanded there has been an astronomical rise on distance learning programs which enable students to pursue online university degrees. Since students have the option of earning online university degrees, many no longer opt for the traditional brick and mortar post-secondary experience. However, while the interest in online university degrees is increasing, many students do not know the semantics of how their college or university courses will delivered.

Most online university degree programs offer e-learning or online classes. These are courses which are offered with the internet as the primary source of delivery. Some universities and colleges present their curriculums using real-time formats and instruction. When a class is offered using real-time instruction, students participate through computer conferencing, web cams and/or chat rooms. Students are expected to access certain sites at a designated time. Interaction between students and the instructor occur in real time, they are simply not all together in one room.

However, most universities and colleges which offer online classes use what is called asynchronous instruction. This method of teaching does not require the student to present in real-time to participate in the class and makes use of web sites, email, newsgroups, and bulletin boards to facilitate discussions and deliver content.

Asynchronous instruction, usually involves the professor or instructor posting videos, instructional material and assignments on a web page that has been designated for the class. Some instructors may include pod casts and simulation activities. Students then access the site and curriculum at their convenience. Participation comes in the form of posting comments and questions and exchanging emails.

As web technology advances, online instruction will become more sophisticated and interactive. Many speculate that since children are exposed to technology at younger ages, online learning may even replace the traditional university experience.

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