We reported back in March that enrollment in online degree and professional certification programs is booming during the economic recession. For those who have been laid off (or fear being laid off), working on an online degree has proven to be an easy and convenient way to enhance their resumes while still having plenty of time to job search. Many would-be online learners have been deterred, however, by the concern that an e-degree will not be respected or accepted by future employers. That tide is turning.
Recently a number of experts have joined the distance learning bandwagon. From career recruiters who say that online degrees are just as reputable as ones from brick-and-mortar schools to legendary former GE CEO Jack Welch, who just announced his plans to launch an online MBA.
Today, the news got even better for online learners, with the release of a groundbreaking meta study by the United States Department of Education, which lauded the superior outcomes of online learners.
Online students performed better, on average, than those taking the same courses in face-to-face instruction. The best achievers, however, were those students who experienced blended learning — elements of both online and face-to-face learning.
The biggest benefits of online learning, according to the study, are derived both from the use of new technology…
Studies indicate that manipulations that trigger learner activity or learner reflection and self-monitoring of understanding are effective when students pursue online learning as individuals.
… and from the benefit of more time to concentrate on tasks.
Studies in which learners in the online condition spent more time on task than students in the face-to-face condition found a greater benefit for online learning.
If you are considering an online degree, here are some past JobMonkey blog posts you may want to read through: