How to Select an Online University

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,305
    Dean Gwen Hall discusses how to find out which online university is right for you.

    Gwen Hall: Hi! I'm Gwen Hall, Dean of the School Of Security and Global Studies for American Public University System. Traditional classroom education is still preferred by many students and professionals, seeking the skills. But for an increasing number online learning is come to provide a better alternative for acquiring additional training, degrees or certifications. In fact our recent study reveal that 20% of U.

    S. college students who are taking at least one online course.

    Today I'm going to talk about some of the basic differences between the two learning techniques, and what to look for in an online degree program. First it's important to understand what online learning is and what it isn't. Online courses use the internet to deliver material and connect instructors and students through multiple models. These learning management systems include real-time interactive videoconferencing and web-cast, non-interactive revenue with content and asynchronous courses which are not held in real time but provide many traditional classroom features, such as interaction between faculty and students.

    Online learning interaction is virtual through real-time conversations such as discussion boards, where instructors provide assignment questions and students respond with the original post and comment when other responses. To ensure all students success, many online educational providers offer introductory online learning courses designed to walk you through all the basic skills used in a typical online classroom. While there are no teaching assistance or graduate students that lead instruction in most online programs. You do have the personal assistance of the professor committed to your success.

    Unlike many traditional schools there typically isn't an over crowding issue with online universities, and most classes don't exceed 20 to 25 students. Of course like any school there will be a library, but this type will be online. Ask your admissions representative what tools at your disposal during your interview process. Also ask to see if there are extensive research databases, Inter-Library Loan System, Online Tutoring and office hours with professors for starters.

    Before we begin, let me tell you a lit a bit about myself. I've been with the university for close to five years. Prior to joining the university I was a professional staff member for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, and Air Force Chief of National Security Policy at the Pentagon. An American Public University System we offer more than 100 online degree and certificate programs to more than 72,000 students around the globe. Our core mission is to expand access to quality higher education by providing respected, relevant and affordable online programs.