Of the several things you must consider when selecting an online college course, two are extremely important for you to know upfront. Is the school accredited or not? If so, by whom?
Just as it does for traditional on-campus programs, academic accreditation serves as the #1 seal of quality for online colleges and universities.
This unbiased, impartial third-party organization officially confirms that the school provides reputable programs and degrees.
Either a certificate or degree from an accredited institution comes with the associated approval and recognition of the US Department of Education.
Businesses also recognize this coveted approval. Other schools and potential employers consider it as being a symbol of good quality.
What Happens If I Attend A Non-accredited College?
It is a risky choice to attend a non-accredited college. Many employers and potential employers do not view a degree from a non-accredited institution as being as valid or high enough quality to serve their purposes.
Accredited institutions rarely accept credits obtained from non-accredited programs or institutions. If you eventually want to transfer or get a graduate degree, you may have to redo coursework.
Re-doing work is time-consuming, expensive, and certainly not fun!
Bluntly stated: regional accreditation is the gold standard for higher education. If you are seeking the best online colleges, you want regionally accredited online colleges.
Your ranking methodology for selecting an online college course should comprise a blend of data analysis and research. I suggest you rank potential schools based on the most critical areas of interest.
These areas include academic excellence, the strength of faculty, reputation, affordability, and the range of degree programs. It is not difficult to make a chart listing these parameters for easy comparison at a glance.
What Is a “Learning Management System” (LMS)?
An LMS is a critical component of any college, whether on campus or online, and is vital when selecting an online college course. This is an online or server-based entity. Its function is to allow an institution to do one or more of the following.
- allow for virtual classrooms
- deliver online learning content
- manage online student communities
- assess student and course outcomes
- track academic records.
- to provide a fully online college learning experience at a distance
LMS online capabilities function as course management systems (CMS) or virtual learning environments (VLE). These allow them to provide a fully online college and distance learning experience.
The use of LMS is an important issue, as many students have a preference for one LMS over another. That being the case, the following is a list of the more well-known Learning Management Systems used nation-wide.
The first four listed comprise the top four learning management systems currently in use by online colleges. They provide both software and service to efficiently navigate online education and should play a role in selecting an online college course.
Created in 1997 and considered a “premium” LMS, Using Blackboard Learn, students can engage in all essential tasks. Students and teachers can communicate directly with one another.
Additionally, they can submit projects, check grades, manage and synchronize calendars, and complete online exams. Blackboard works via mobile or desktop.
D2L (formerly known as Desire2Learn)Brightspace
D2L produces Brightspace. In addition to being used at the university level, it is used in K-12 settings, government agencies, healthcare organizations as well as in the private sector. Brightspace This is a cloud learning environment.
Brightspace functions as both software and as a service. It provides accessible communication between institutions, professors, and students.
Providing the same services like Blackboard, Brightspace also functions on mobile as well as desktop settings. The flexibility of electronic equipment is highly desirable.
Canvas is a product of Instructure, Inc. and it is built on an open-source platform. This means that it can be freely used by all educators regardless of their ability to pay.
The Canvas Conference feature allows students to communicate with one another through discussion boards and messaging. First released in 2002, it provides for sharing announcements, demonstrations, and lectures.
Canvas functions on both mobile and desktop use as well. Most online learning courses today are designed for these options.
Moodle is an open-source platform that was first released in 2002. Universities as well as private companies. use Moodle. Its users can create individual websites for specific learning goals.
Moodle can be tailor-made to meet the particular needs of students, professors, and subjects/topics. Such versatility has made it popular in a variety of settings.
Like the previously mentioned LMS platforms, Moodle allows for accessible and direct communication between students, professors, and institutions.
Coursera was first launched in 2012. It is very popular because of its free massive online open courses (MOOCs). This LMS works with universities around the world.
They offer a wide range of courses in many subjects, many of which are free and open to all. For students wishing to brush up on a given topic, Coursera provides excellent opportunities for doing so.
For students looking for more than that, some courses can lead to certificates of completion or full graduate degrees. Those courses, however, usually require tuition, of course.
LoudCloud is a cloud-based LMS that has been optimized for higher education. Barnes and Noble Education own this LMS.
It provides communication between students, institutions, and professors through discussion boards, messaging and email, video, and audio announcements,.
It also provides submission portals, and exam portals. LoudCloud further serves the needs of competency-based education programs and facilitates both life-experience and work-experience credit.
Sakai is a free, open, and popular choice for LMS platforms among many online colleges. This is a very basic LMS. It also provides a virtual learning environment that can be designed to fit the specific needs of professors, students, and courses.
It supports course management, communications, and grade keeping via a variety of media. Users can create unique sites for each class, permitting an unique and individually tailored experience.
This LMS serves K-12 schools, universities, and government agencies as well as private companies. Schoology is popular for creating optimized virtual learning environments.
This LMS is a cloud-based platform and permits course and educational material management through a variety of avenues. Schoology integrates tools such as YouTube, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
Its versatility allows for personalized and unique communication solutions between students, professors, and online colleges.
Worldclass is a cloud-based platform optimized for a customized experience. It is known as a “micro LMS.” Small-scale users often use Worldclass.
A number of online colleges use this platform. It provides communication solutions for students and professors, and its emphasis is on mobile functionality.
An Additional Area of Concern
If you are considering online college, you also need to know about the cost. https://onlinecollegelife.info/what-does-online-college-cost/
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