Online degrees; pros and cons

Julija Kaselyte

MCC professor Burton Borlongan said a lot of online courses and degrees can receive the same amount of content, regarding information, as in face-to-face lectures.

According to the professor, online classes require more work, and it only depends on students if they can accomplish it.

“Delivery method is different, so in many cases there is a lot of reading involved,” Borlongan said.

The professor said there are other tools involved, such as live video lectures and presentations.

“I think group work can definitely be done. In Canvas we’ve got discussion groups, chat rooms, and video conferencing,” Borlongan said.

He also said gaining an online degree might not be for everybody, but MCC provides the opportunities, tools, and support to achieve it.

Chair of Psychological Science department Ly Tran-Nguyen said online degrees are different and it depends on the way that an instructor teaches an online course.

Tran-Nguyen said she has better interaction with students in face-to-face class because she is able to ask questions and get immediate feedback from them, or even read from their faces whether they understood the concepts and are ready to move on or not.

“I can’t do that online unless the students are open with a discussion on a discussion board,” Tran-Nguyen said.

The professor said the disadvantage of online courses is a lack of human interaction, but she also admitted that a convenience factor in these classes is a positive thing because students are able to take them when they have time.

She also said people who take online classes of the online degree can be successful as long as they understand that limited interaction in the courses has to be made up somewhere else.

“If I see a lot of Ws on a transcript, that’s a serious indication to me that this person just can’t follow through. So it’s not necessarily the degree itself,” Tran-Nguyen said and added that she would also look at experiences an individual is bringing outside of academia.

Burlongan said he would be more concerned about a person’s body of work and experience than how a person gained a degree.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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