Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Discussing higher education

A recurring theme that my fellow students and I return in our doctoral seminar class is whether or not online, distance education, is suitable for doctoral level education. Though I am a product of one completely online masters program and another hybrid program, I must say that working towards a doctorate online would not be for me.

First, the synchronous interaction that I have with my fellow classmates is extraordinary. Sadly for our professor/moderator, we usually end up taking up the entire time discussing the topic of the day. Of course at this level of study the time for lectures should be at an end. It should be up to the students to drive the learning experience.

Second, being on a campus presents wonderful opportunities not afforded to distance students. Most doctoral programs provide some source of income for their students. Usually it is some sort of assistantship for teaching, research, or both. The key is that this experience exposes and familiarizes the student with academe. How well this can be accomplished online is still open to future technological developments, however at this point in time, I cannot see the online programs holding up against on-site programs. At least for me anyway.


Kirsten said...

I feel the same way. If I do another degree, it'll be in person. Living in a different town from the program just made it too difficult to really participate the way I would have liked. The stuff that goes on outside of class is just as--if not more--important than what happens during class.

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