Zogby: "How Do Online Degrees Measure Up?"

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by basrsu, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. basrsu

    basrsu Member

  2. pdbuzz

    pdbuzz New Member

    Zogby: I mean right now, to be very honest, online education is not viewed with the same level of respect by professionals, by academics, by business leaders, in fact, for that matter, even the students themselves the same way that a traditional brick-and-mortar education is.

    I don't know of anyone who has dissed me because of online courses, nor have I come across any classmates that belittle the work they're doing to achieve their degree.

    It's a good thing universities don't issue a diploma with an 'on-line' clarifier. At least not the traditional 'brick & mortar' universities.
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I get the feeling that Zogby is less qualified to comment on DL then many people on degreeinfo.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I am in agreement with Ian. What reason do we have to believe that John Zogby knows anything about distance learning. He's just reading from notes made by his minions. He has no real knowledge on this topic. None at all.
  5. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    ..not to mention that he does not reveal where the folks at his company that have DL master's degrees received them from. It sure is easy to generalize and place ALL DL programs in the same hat, isn't it? If this chap really wants to know about DL learning and have a discussion, he is welcome to register here and ask away.
  6. BlackBird

    BlackBird Member

    I would recommend you folks put up a comment on that site to offset Mr. Zogby's bias. I threw in my own comments earlier.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Good idea. Done. His comments on distance learning are pretty shallow, so I think like most of those pundits he sees a parade and wants to jump to the front and shout "Follow me!"

  8. recruiting

    recruiting Member

    "I can tell you purely anecdotally that as an employer I have people with masters degrees from both very, very good top universities in this country and also those who have gotten online degrees and in many instances, the people are very, very good. In a few instances, I would have to admit that some of the ones with online degrees, not as advanced as those with brick-and-mortar, but we have reason to believe from the polling that we have done over the last couple of years that the level of acceptance for the online degree is growing".

    Is that not with ALL applicants and employees, some live up to their resumes and others simply don't. It appeared he singled out the online degree holders (like he knew how many are working there, most B&M colleges don't put that on the degree or script), don't you think? He made some very pointed comments about DL and how "some" were lacking opposed to the traditional-

    Maybe I'm seeing it wrong?

    With my AA (from a B&M via DL) and now my BS (The same) how would he know? Nowhere will it say online or DL or give any indication of how it was earned. So again how would he really know I was a DL infidel, he wouldn't?

    "Ahh Mr. Jones I see you got your Masters degree from The Harvard Extension School via DL, you're just not good enough,NEXT!...hardly"

    Geesh, can't we all just get along...
  9. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    This is interesting because it differs in various countries. In Australia, it is non issue. Nobody ever discusses whether you did your degree by distance learning or not. Never comes up in conversation. If, for some reason, you say that you did you generally get admiration because it is accepted that greater effort is required to earn a degree this way.

    Employers also have greater respect for any person who does the degree this way. Most of the graduates are employed with families when they do distance learning. The employers consider that they have shown persistence and ambition to get ahead. They are more likely to get the job.

    The difference with distance learning here and the US is that distance learning has been part of the B & M schools from the time the schools were built. I cannot think of many B & M schools that have not had distance learning as part of their regular university cirriculum. In some cases, that is well over one hundred years.

    The exams that are given to the students attending the university are the same of those doing the same course by distance learning. They are most likely marked by the same people. If the pass given to the distance learning student is no good, then it isn't for the oncampus student either.

    The University of London has provided distance learning for the British Empire initially since 1858. later for the world of course. The empire could not be readily serviced without a distance learning institution. Not everybody could travel back to England for an education. UNISA also has an extensive history most likely for the same reason. The Colonies needed lawyers etc.
  10. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Just more of the outliners. Really, it is more telling about those that express such views than it is about the topic for which they are opining.
  11. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    Unless you are doing DL from a local or reasonably local university it wouldn't take a very sharp reviewer to notice your employment location versus your education location. Which is why I often recommend folks do a DL program near their location or future location. Military and some other occupations have an advantage at hiding this problem much better due to location assignments.
  12. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    Agreed, unfortunately North America as a whole need to take a good hard look at their views regarding DL education. All of us on this board know the hardships endured to earn a degree via DL while balancing family and work. It's not difficult to get a degree if you're single and go to school full-time with few other obligations - I wholeheartedly hope that the Australian and European acceptance of DL degrees is followed here, sooner than later.
  13. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    Zogby is a well-respected pollster. I have been participating in his surveys for a few years.

    The intro says clearly that the gap in respect for the differing delivery IS CLOSING. That is a positive note.

    "The level of acceptance is growing," Zogby said.

    I do not think anyone here was such a Pollyanna they believed online was equally accepted at all levels. But, OMG, dl, is under attack (NOT), so rally the troops without a clue.

  14. lovetheduns

    lovetheduns New Member

    Well honestly let's be frank.

    Not ALL online degrees are created equal and on par with attendance in an actual classroom.

    There are some online degrees that I think would rival on campus programs-- and there are some online degrees that I think would be viewed as almost essentially gimme-degrees with the level of "rigor" they possess.

    I have done A LOT of coursework online-- and quite a huge percentage of my coursework sitting in a classroom from a community college, to 2 top ranked public universities and to a small private college. I have even tested out of a few courses through AP exams and Dantes.

    The work I have put into online courses and on campus courses far exceeded the uber-quick preparation for a Dantes exam I did. I also retained and learned from the actual coursework other than a massive cram to just pass the exams. When I took the Dantes exams-- it was a means to an end and complete for the sake of cramming. I don't think it is a bad idea to take some courses that way-- but I don't think that the majority of a degree completed almost entirely through testing is equivalent to the experiences gained through actual coursework (either through online or in a classroom). Just like, I DO think that you can miss out on some extra knowledge you would have gained if you attended a course with a wonderful professor (poor professors or even average ones tend to just bore me to death so I am not considering your average prof here).

    There have been a few online courses I have had which were dreadfully hard (who would have believed a Physical Geology course at a community college would be brutal?) and far more difficult than even courses at the top highly regard public universities. On the other hand, I have had many courses online and at the small private college which were obviously easier and fairly lax.

    Ultimately, I think people need to be very careful of where you choose to pursue a degree-- be it online or not. Some people will just accept it as a 4 year degree and leave it at that-- however, I know whenever I hear about where someone is taking a class or completed a program I always take a look myself (out of curiosity, to see if something appeals to me for additional education, etc)--- and some programs are just harder to explain the WHY if it ever comes up in conversation.
  15. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    The work I have put into online courses and on campus courses far exceeded the uber-quick preparation for a Dantes exam I did. I also retained and learned from the actual coursework other than a massive cram to just pass the exams. When I took the Dantes exams-- it was a means to an end and complete for the sake of cramming. I don't think it is a bad idea to take some courses that way-- but I don't think that the majority of a degree completed almost entirely through testing is equivalent to the experiences gained through actual coursework (either through online or in a classroom). Just like, I DO think that you can miss out on some extra knowledge you would have gained if you attended a course with a wonderful professor (poor professors or even average ones tend to just bore me to death so I am not considering your average prof here).

    I take issue with this part of your statement and respectfully disagree. If you have the knowledge to test out of any course you essentially get out of it the same as you would in a B&M setting. Now when it comes to your core courses that have an actual effect on your job/career then "cramming" just to pass is definately a bad idea. I've taken online courses and attended a B&M University and a huge chunk of general education courses are just fluff for them to charge you for them. Specifically these courses serve no true purpose for your actual career/job. Matter of fact I would even go as far as to say that most of these courses should have been learned already in high school. This does not apply to most upper level courses as most of them actually need to be truly learned for your career and cramming for a class like that would not only be stupid since you won't actually learn it but it may also have an adverse effect on your job performance. Now when it comes to online versus B&M and actually learning the material if you are motivated enough I don't think you miss out simply because you didn't attend an actual class. Self motivation goes a long way in actually learning something. ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2009
  16. lovetheduns

    lovetheduns New Member

    Soupbone-- I don't disagree that there are lots of courses a BM or online program required for degree completion that may or may not have anything to do with your actual career or chosen path. I completely agree that MOST majors and programs should have more emphasis placed on courses related to that major. I think it also depends on the program of your choice. My Accounting/Business education had a significant amount of more required courses in the business core, major core than what a major in Sociology (at the schools I have attended) would require. At the end of the day, the general education requirements for the BS I have were more centered around credits which make more sense for a business/finance/economics/accounting major. My best friend's son is in a traditional B&M for Civil Engineering and his general education requirements are even less random than mine! His coursework is heavily geared directly to the maths, sciences, etc.

    I will say that without general education courses, I think it may possibly be harder for people to really pen down what interests them most (for people like me who tried out many majors early in their scholastic career). Also, I think general education affords quite a bit of opportunity for students to further refine their analytical skills and even communication skills (better to learn to write a proper paper in a lower level course than testing the waters in a major class).

    I think the spirit of testing out of an exam is to show that you have gained knowledge in a subject through alternative means, other schooling, etc- not to be able to take a few hours or a weekend and pass based solely on cramming. I kind of liken it to how AP Exams were administered during my high school years.

    I took 2 Dantes exams-- and spent only a small percentage of time to pass them (with scores that I believe would have given me Bs or higher - per my college should they have awarded grades). I am pretty sure that if I had taken the courses themselves (whether online, in class, or even independent study I would have gained more knowledge than that temporary brain dump. Perhaps the exams were too easy? Not sure I have the answer to that one. Honestly, if I had known about them earlier and how easy and cheap it was for me to pass out-- I would have done more credits earlier! But, at the same time, I am glad I didn't know. I would like to think I would have really tried to learn the material, but I am not going to con myself into thinking I would have done any different than what I did for the two exams I took. That is being honest.

    What I was trying to express about missing something out of an online class versus a B&M class are the unique anecdotes, experiences, and dialogue that you can have in person with an experienced professor lecturing and a class discussion. I have yet to have been in any online class which had discussion forums that were just as fluid as an actual class discussion (or eve this forum!). I think that is why courses set up with online recorded (or live) lectures or DVDs are actually really appealing to me-- as you have the opportunity to get those pieces of information that just happen in fluid conversation. It is much harder to get that from books or powerpoints no matter how self motivated one is. ;)
  17. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    It think it all depends on the university. The University of London, which is ranked between Oxford and Cambridge last time I checked, did all its law courses by exam only. Only 18 percent passed on the first occasion the year before I sat. Once every three years or so, somebody will get an A which is first class honours.

    I have attended a B & M school where the exam paper was handed out by the Professor the week before the exam. It still wasn't easy, as it was a question of interpreting the questions correctly. If you didn't know the material, then you would fail no matter what you did.

    If the professor was not interested in the students, the lectures were brisk and the student had to read to get the knowledge. These fellows were more interested in research than teaching. Unless you are doing a higher research degree, good research universities are not necessarily good educational ones.

    University in the British model was more about guided reading, where the student is supposed to have sufficient educational background to manage the educational process for him or herself. Quite often, if you quoted a text in a paper, you would be greeted with the response "That may be what the author of the text thinks, but I want to know what you think". Whether the student attended the lectures or not was immaterial, it was a question how the examination and required papers were dealt with. If the student could do without the lectures, so be it.

    The distance learning model is probably closer to the original idea than the current B & M model. High school now seems to be extended into university,where the lecturer is more relied upon than the librarian. The traditional university approach is probably now more in research degrees, where the student spends hours in the library researching a topic.

    A PHD student in a British university model, spends no time doing courses at all. It is all research, with some guidance and criticism from the supervisor. This approach, whether attending in person at a university or by DL, differs little. Probably the contact with the Supervisor is little different. The DL student probably does it with some phone contact and e-mail, while the B&M student catches a half hour, when scheduled, and uses e-mail.

    I guess this is a long way to say that the mode of learning is immaterial, the question is the quality of the learning. The examiner can test knowledge by creating examinations that are dependant upon the application of knowledge, rather than mere memory tests. You can't cram for the former. Quality universities will test knowledge, regardless of the mode of learning. The question for the recruiters should be,"Does the university have a reputation for testing knowledge"
  18. Mundo

    Mundo New Member

    I beg to disagree! “Hiding” the fact that one has obtained a DL degree does nothing to improve the negative perceptions toward distance learning. On the contrary, one should openly speak of the DL experience and by effectively competing with peers from traditional schools, DL’s image will improve.

    My two cents.
  19. saiga

    saiga member

    What if you have enough experience before you started attending school that you don't even need to mention where you worked while attending?
  20. recruiting

    recruiting Member

    Wow the post showed all hidden formatting I had to delete it..

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