Online Degrees

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Will the New Crop of Fake Degree Scams Deter Students From Online Education?

Online education experts at warned against a new type of fake degree scams today. The supposed new type of degree fakery goes far beyond the diplomas for purchase that have been available from non-existent and unaccredited colleges for years, and now means that anyone can purchase a fake degree from such respected institutions as Florida State University. So how will these fakers and frauds affect the future of online education? And what can be done to stop them?

It seems that one of the reasons diploma mills and degree scams are on the social consciousness currently is very much due to the current economic climate, and its effects on distance learning and online education. Essentially, lack of jobs and increasing redundancies stimulate increasing numbers of people to head back to education, and taking up an adult education course via distance learning or online is a very economical and accessible way to do that today. And, indeed, reports of increasing online enrollment are already being heard in the US and the UK.

Realistically however, such fraudsters have been around for many years and aside from penile extensions and cut-rate Viagra, fake degrees are one of the original and obligatory types of spam e-mail. That said, it is also wrong to assume that the scammers are not indeed getting better at offering more and more legitimate-looking qualifications to the point of committing outright fraud.

Subsequently, in terms of maintaining the social faith in online education and distance learning, the public need to be 100 percent clear that using a fake degree or qualification is fraud. An action that might be surprisingly more difficult when one considers that the selling of fake academic credentials is illegal only in 11 states in the USA (according to Maybe if such sellers are brought into line elsewhere across North America we might see the first steps for spreading this knowledge, and at least halting the blight of scammers, at least if they can't be stopped altogether.

But, then, I suppose one must ask why must the USA should be the focus of a nationwide ban on such activities? For me, the answer lies in the apparent fact that the rest of the world, particularly the UK, are following the advancements the US are making in online education, e-Learning, and open content - and particularly the way it is regarded socially and publicly. Thus, the betterment of higher education globally (and the systems therein) currently seems to be directly influenced by the modes and methods that are established stateside.

Sarah Maple writes about adult education and distance learning.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

5 Mistakes Most Online Learners Make

Distance learning programs are common these days for people to expand and in depth their knowledge through the convenient of internet technology. The key advantages that benefits most online learners are flexible schedule and remote learning environment. However, navigating the distance learning world can be tricky, not all online learners will success in their distance learning. If you choose to experience your journey as an online student, avoid these 5 common mistakes make by most online learners and save yourself some hassle.

Mistake #1: Choose the wrong online school

Not all online schools are running by legitimate education association. If you accidentally enroll into a distance learning program offered by diploma mill, then the certification you earned from the school will be worthless. Therefore, selecting a right online school is the most important step and you must put special attention on when searching for your favorite distance learning program. Before you enroll in the program of your selected online school, make sure it has the appropriate regional accreditation, which is the key indicator that distinguishes between legitimate and "fake" online schools.

Mistake #2: Lack of self-discipline & self-motivation

Self-discipline and self-motivation are key factors if an online learner wants to successfully complete their distance learning program. Nobody will look at their back to get their work done; the students need to have self-discipline and be able to motivate themselves to get through the learning process and complete the necessary assignments and courses in order to complete the distance learning program. However, many online learners lack of these 2 important elements that make them tend to drop their study half way.

In order to discipline and motivate themselves, many students have found it beneficial to set their goal with a deadline to complete a distance learning program and from there they split their final goal into smaller monthly, weekly, and daily goals that will allow them to achieve their goal at that deadline.

Mistake #3: Failing in communication with professors and peers

Many online learners think that study online mean study at their own. This is partly true because most online learning environments are asynchronous where students logon at their own time to get the learning materials and submit their coursework. But, this virtual learning environment does involve other online learners where you can form some meaningful relationships with your peers that can keep you motivated and have an outlet to express and exchange opinions or ideas to help your own understanding of subject matter. Moreover, keeping close relationship with your professors will definitely make your online learning easier.

Mistake #4: Not transferring credit

This is a common mistake made by those distance learners who assume the credit from campus-based school cannot be transferred to distance learning program. In fact, online schools and campus-based school's credits are transferrable if your credits from previous school meet the credit transfer requirement of your current online school. With the necessary credit transfer, you can waive certain subjects and save some credit hours to enable you to complete your distance learning in a short time.

Mistake #5: Remaining Ignorant of online resources

There are a lot of online materials available on Internet which can help online learners to find reference, information and help they need. However, many distance learners tend to use only online resources available at their online learning system, and ignore about other online resources such as virtual dictionaries, research help and online books which are related to their specialized subject matter on Internet. The best thing about online resources on Internet is most of them are free. By finding these sites to get the necessary references that are required for your distance learning, you can save money to buy books.

Julie Harvard would like to invite you to explore more information on distance learning at which will help in making your education decision and select a distance education that best fit your goals.