Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding online learning.

What is online learning?

How does online learning work?

Is online learning different from distance learning?

What is accreditation and why is it important?

Will I learn as much in an online course as I would in a traditional, face to face class?

Can I take the class from any computer? From any location?

What are the benefits of online learning?

How can I earn a college degree online?

Are you cut out for the online classroom?

What do you need to succeed?

What should you be looking for?

Can I transfer credit to or from online schools?

Can I get an online degree if I live outside the USA?

Can I get a college degree based entirely on my life experience?

What is online learning?
The term "online learning" refers to the use of the Internet to deliver course materials and facilitate teacher-student interactions. Students use computers to connect to online classrooms, which often provide message boards, chat rooms, audio, video, and multimedia technologies, in addition to text content and live lectures. Online learning is also called "e-learning."

How does online learning work?
Although individual programs differ, each employs some kind of Internet technology to deliver instructional material. Your class may rely on e-mail, message boards, chat rooms, and desktop video or computer conferencing. Some courses are synchronous, requiring learners and teachers to participate at the same time and interact in "real time." Chat rooms, interactive TV and videoconferencing are examples of synchronous delivery methods. Most courses are asynchronous, meaning students and teachers do not have to participate at the same time. E-mail, the World Wide Web and streaming video lectures are asynchronous delivery methods. Some courses will incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous components into their curriculum.

Is online learning different from distance learning?
Online learning is merely one type of distance learning, which is "education that takes place with the instructor and student geographically remote from each other." Distance learning may occur by surface mail (correspondence), video, interactive or cable TV, satellite broadcast, or via Internet technologies such as e-mail, message boards, chat rooms, and desktop video or computer conferencing.

What is accreditation and why is it important?
Accreditation is a status granted to an educational institution or program that meets or exceeds predetermined criteria of educational quality. Basically, it's an academic stamp of approval.

Will I learn as much in an online course as I would in a traditional, face to face class?
Studies conducted by the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, as well as by the University of Phoenix, show that distance learners do as well or better in courses and on tests than traditional students.

Can I take the class from any computer? From any location?
Yes, as long as the computer meets the system requirements for the class. You can also work from any location with Internet access. All you will need is the assigned password and username to access the class.

What are the benefits of online learning?
Flexibility is one big benefit. With online learning, you set your own schedule, although you will still be responsible for maintaining assignment deadlines and courses along with may have set online chat times or other synchronous elements as mentioned above. Convenience is another benefit. Lecture notes are often available online, as are transcripts of class chats and discussions.

How can I earn a college degree online?
How can I earn a college degree online? Visit http://www.classesusa.com to find out more.

Are you cut out for the online classroom?
Going back to school has been on your to-do list for what seems like an eternity, and you're finally ready to do something about it, especially now that there's a convenient option like online learning. Of course, when it comes to recommitting yourself to higher education, there are a multitude of factors to consider. Make sure you're prepped and poised to make the move to the online classroom by taking this quiz.

What do you need to succeed?
The right attitude makes all the difference in taking online classes. "Are you disciplined? Can you set aside a dedicated amount of time? Are you a self-starter?" Find out how if online learning is right for you and if you have what it takes to succeed.

What should you be looking for?
10 questions to ask before selecting an online degree program:

  1. Do you meet the requirements for admission?
  2. Is the school/program's accreditation legitimate?
  3. Does the school offer a strong academic program in your field of interest?
  4. Are there any unexpected course requirements, like in-person sessions?
  5. What comprises the online classroom (e-mail, message boards, live chats, etc.)?
  6. Are school representatives helpful when you e-mail your questions/concerns?
  7. How long will your degree or certificate completion take?
  8. Are testimonials from past students available or can you contact current students with questions?
  9. Can you read about and/or contact faculty members to ensure their qualifications?
  10. Can you try a demo or see an example of how the course will run?

Can I transfer credit to or from online schools?
Your ability to transfer credits is determined by the receiving school. If the credits are from a regionally accredited school, they will often be accepted. For additional information, please contact your school of interest via the convenient information request form.

Can I get an online degree if I live outside the USA?
Most of the schools listed on ClassesUSA are unable to accept inquiries through ClassesUSA from students outside the USA. If you reside outside the USA, please visit our International page for a list of schools that accept international inquiries.

Can I get a college degree based entirely on my life experience?
Legitimate colleges and universities will not offer a degree based entirely on your life experience. Some will allow you to test out of required courses by showing competence and passing a proficiency test. Further, some will offer partial credit for "life experience," but not without you completing a rigorous screening and evaluation process.


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