Online Degree Programs
Online degree programs greatly vary by the online degree program that you are enrolled in. Some online degree programs are taught mainly through video lectures, while others rely more heavily on text-books, as in traditional degree programs.
Online Degree Programs and Video
With the advent of high speed Internet connections, DVD players built into nearly every new computer, and advanced video creation tools available to even colleges with modest budgets, it's no surprise that video has become a key part of your online education experience. Many courses have lectures pre-recorded by faculty and made available to students for viewing at their leisure. Different online degree programs offer different choices for taking an online course via video. Decide which ways you'd like to receive your video program and choose a program based on what works best for you.
Online degree programs typically distribute video lectures in several formats:
- DVD. For students with slow Internet connections or who travel a lot, DVD represents the best choice of medium for online degree programs. DVDs can be taken on the road and if your Internet connection isn't blazing, DVDs offer a smooth, reliable playback experience.
- Streaming. For students with fast Internet connections and reasonably powerful computers, streaming video provides instant viewing of online degree video content, usually accompanied by slideshows, just like YouTube. Some programs may even offer synchronized video and chat, allowing several students to watch a video at the same time and have a live discussion.
- Downloads. For students with fast Internet connections and portable media devices, downloadable video provides a great option for watching video on the go without lugging around a DVD player. Video downloads can be optimized for devices like the iPod so that you can carry an entire online degree program in your pocket.
Online Degree Programs and Textbooks
One area where online degree programs may differ from brick and mortar college programs is in the use of materials, primarily textbooks. Some online degree programs will use regular college textbooks - at regular college textbook prices - as their primary course materials, which has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, students use the same sources whether at an online school or a regular school, and thus have the same background. On the other hand, the cost of college textbooks is well publicized as being incredibly high, so if you were investigating online degree programs as a way of saving money, regular college textbooks certainly wouldn't support that goal.
Other online degree programs use custom-generated texts, electronic reference materials, or commercially available books, especially in newer course topics like Internet marketing where "standard" textbooks don't exist. These courses can cost significantly less.
As with any college course, online degree programs typically publish a list of textbooks and required materials with their syllabus. When you request free information about online degree programs, be sure to request copies of syllabi and reading lists to help make the best comparisons possible.
Online Degrees Search
Search by degree and program category to find the online degree program that's right for you: