How does online education compare with the traditional university?

Answer 1: Online education offers the ability to receive the same certificates and degrees you would earn at a traditional university. However, online courses offer move flexibility to accommodate for an individuals busy lifestyle. Although you're not in a traditional classroom setting, you still have access to your professors and classmates online. Most online classrooms offer a video component where you have the ability to set up video conferences with your professors and classmates for any additional questions, comments, or concerns regarding the classes you're in.


Answer 2: The first answer is excellent! Here's what I'd like to add...


The simple (and least helpful, of course) answer is, "it depends." Let me see if I can clarify and refine, though...


Each person learns and studies differently. For some people, only in-classroom learning works. For others, learning online almost works-out better. For still others, it matters not... either way works just fine.


Back when the only distance learning content delivery modality was old-fashioned, through-the-postal-system "correspondence" courses, then maybe in-classroom learning really was better. But with today's technologies, it's possible to make the student feel like s/he's right in the classroom.


Also, the US Department of Education (USDE) commissioned a study in 2009 which revealed that online students are actually more disciplined, more serious, and tend to do generally better than their in-classroom counterparts.


So, then, whether or not online or in-classroom learning is inherently "better" depends, entirely, on the student. Some do better in online environments, and others do better in in-classroom environments.


If your'e self-disciplined and can make yourself sit down at the computer and "attend" classes/lectures; and if you can make yourself go login to the discussion forums and participate; and if you have the self-discipline to sit down and do your homework when you're supposed to; and if you don't require the socialization that in-classroom learning provides, then you'll likely do well in online learning. If not, then maybe you should stick with in-classroom learning.


Whatever you do, though, be sure that any online high school or college in which you enroll -- at least if you're in the US -- is accredited by an agency approved by the US Department of Education (USDE). If you're enrolling in online college, then make sure that it's accredited by an agency that's approved by either USDE, or the USDE-sanctioned Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). There are a ton of not only unaccredited, but also downright disreputable diploma/degree mills out there that will lie on their websites about being accredited; or will make-up their own bogus accreditors, and then claim that they're just as good. They're not. Do not be fooled! Always, always, always independently verify that a school really is accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agency. Never take the school's word for it!


If you're not in the US, then simply ensure that the country in which the online school is physically located has an observable and verifiable culture of educational accountability, evidenced, in part, by that said country has some kind of governmentally-supervised educational quality assurance framework; and that said framework accredits, or validates, or approves, or performs some other similar function; and then, beyond that, that it continuously monitors schools to ensure that their standards remain as high, over time, as they were when first accredited/validated/approved. Additionally, make sure that the school's credentials (its certificates, diplomas or degrees) are actually useful, inside the country in which the school is located, for purposes of such things as employment, or, where applicable, government-issued professional licensure. Any country where those things are true will also have some kind of official website, just like the US has, where schools may be looked-up and where said look-up will verify said school's being accredited (or whatever word the country uses, instead of that one, to mean essentially the same thing).


Hope that helps.