There are advantages to getting an online elementary education degree, one of them being that you can keep your current job while you work towards your degree. Getting an online degree may work for you if you work and do not have time to attend school full time, if you can’t afford to move to another area and pay for room and board, if you don’t have time to commute, work and attend school or if you prefer to interact with the faculty and course work by reading and writing, rather than in person.
Other advantages of getting an online elementary education degree are:
- There can be fewer tests and exams
- Courses are often more focused on the individual student
- You are judged on your work, not on your in class personality
- Online courses demand your participation
- Online degree programs force you to communicate and set boundaries
- Participation in the courses improves your ability to write, spell and edit
- Taking an E-learning degree develops your patience and sense of humour
Be sure that the school you choose to get an online elementary education degree is accredited. Check their history and find out how long they have been in existence, how long they have offered online degrees and whether their online degree courses are transferable to other universities. Search their history if they have any history of financial difficulty or red flags.
Some disadvantages of getting an online elementary education degree:
- You need reliable and fast internet and the proper computer and programs
- You may feel isolated from students and lecturers
- You need to be able to troubleshoot a computer and programs
- You need to be able to work independently and be self motivated
- Timelines can be difficult. You need to keep timelines and be available for teleconferences
- If the class meets once a month at a central location, it can be expensive
A friend of mine got his Master’s degree online. His advice:
- Find a friend to discuss assignments with and read them over
- Some lecturers and markers are slow to mark, leaving little time to get feedback and prepare for the next assignment. This applies to tests too.
- Group projects can be a hassle. More often than in regular school, one or two people do the majority of the work.
- Have access to more than the sources the university provides through their library system and internet
- Courses that have a large part of their marks assessed by tests, tend not be suited for online learning
- The online courses may be poorly adapted from a regular course or have a course designer who seemed to have little knowledge of online learning
Online degrees from other countries
Taking an online degree from another country has its challenges. More advice from someone who has experienced this:
- Technical terms and terminology and even wording can have enough subtle differences to cause problems with assignments.
- The university should have a good complaint process.
- Some lecturers and markers are not particularly computer literate.
- Some faculty members are very good at accommodating computer glitches, while others refuse to acknowledge them, especially the ones they make.
- It is preferable to have more than one way to get an assignment in. Internet, fax and snail mail are the best options.
- Make sure the postal date stamp is acceptable on assignments sent by snail mail, as mail can be much slower than reported.
- When receiving faxes, remember machines often break down, run out of memory and paper.
- Assignments attached to email on occasion have taken three days to reach the lecturer’s inbox.
- Schools often want to only use their internet address provided for students. These emails addresses can be very slow.
- If you are completing an e-learning degree from another country make sure the professional qualification you end up with will be recognized in your country.
- Sometimes the course material does not match the government education guidelines for your country.