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Unresolved Obstacles to the Credibility of Online Degrees

By Craig Howard / February 2010

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  • Thu, 04 Mar 2010
    Post by Craig Howard

    Curious title for your post. I think what youre referring to are renowned brink and mortar institutions. The credibility of long standing universities works against the degree mills, but from my perspective that is a minor factor compared to the larger issues. What does Harvard (for example) putting a class online do for addressing issues surrounding a planned deception for credit, intergroup distrust and missed face-to-face cues in the learners entering professions after commencement? Did fine institutions like the ones you attended have tactics that I missed? In researching this article I did notice that buried in the descriptions of online programs, many have requirements for face-to-face meetings. As this becomes more general knowledge, I think such programs gain credibility. Thanks for the comment.

  • Sat, 27 Feb 2010
    Post by Muvaffak GOZAYDIN

    Sorry . I am Turkish. Educated at Caltech and Stanford and worked in a wonderful company in Silicon valley, 1965-1970. I have been working on ONLINE education since 1995. 1.- If ONLINE is done by Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA there is no question about credibility. Right. Nobody asks you whether or not it is ONLINE . So Brand name is most important. Who is doing. Would you by an Indian Car in USA? No . No brand name . So do not accuse ONLINE . It is BRAND NAME .

    2.- ONLINE is cost effective. But my American friends do not understand that it is cost effective if it is done for 1000 even 2-3-4.000 students. So you have to SHARE your ONLINE courses with other universities and particularly with community colleges. And charge them only $ 10-20 per semester, per person, per course. Even SHARE it with the world like Yale, Harvard, Princeton etc.

    A good ONLINE course development costs $ 500.000 . Do not cheat yourself.

    3.- Drexel is the best ONLINE University in the USA. They are very expensive. More expensive than f2f. Nonsense. They do not share . Shame on them .

    4.- It is said that there are 800 or so BOGUS Universities in the USA. Probably more in ONLINE Universities. So my American friends should be more careful. At least in Turkey we do not have to worry about bogus University.

    5. ONLINE is 10 times better than f2f and costs 1/10 of the f2f . Period. ONLINE is for thousands of students not for only 50-60 even 100 students .

    6.- ONLINE is future. Let us do not destroy it . Best regards. [email protected] from Turkey

  • Sat, 20 Feb 2010
    Post by evision

  • Wed, 17 Feb 2010
    Post by Craig Howard

    Thanks for the comment/question. When online learning is cheaper than the other options for whatever reason (travel to get to school, time commitments etc...), the digital divide has a new meaning; those with enough or the right resources (time, money, location) don't have to sit in front of a computer to learn. That's what I mean by the tables are turning. The digital divide will turn the tables on the average student. At one point in time it was a barrier from online learning, but I see the cost effectiveness of online learning, or the presupposition of online learning's cost effectiveness, to be the divide between those who get the cues-filtered-out, and those who get the cues-filtered-in. We're not that far away.

  • Wed, 17 Feb 2010
    Post by Andrew Barrett

    You raise valid issues that must be addressed in order for the credibility of online degrees to be increased.

    One part that I didn't understand was in second last paragraph. You state... "we must assume the perceived value of the online degree has an extreme importance, especially now, as the digital divide is turning the tables on the average student"

    My question is: How is the digital divide, the gap between those who have access to digital technology and those who do not, turning the tables on the average student?