Give Me A Detailed Description Of What Online Learning Is At The Bachelor’s Degree

Six easy questions you need to answer before going to an online bachelor’s degree.

I was younger than 18 when I decided I wanted to study something. A college-bound, ambitious teenager in the county of Rock County in upstate New York asked me at my piano recital if I wanted to sign up for a one-year course on piano, nothing fancy, no science, just nine days of classes a week, starting in the middle of winter and for free. I lived in the suburbs at the time and the nearest college to where I grew up was an hour away, so I took the first course in piano.

By the end of the year, after I proved my teacher wrong, I had my first of many advanced degrees.

Fast forward 20 years, I’m working as a professor, and now my grad student students are approaching my company-owned and operated mastering studio — the first of its kind in the country — to request free private lessons. After the first day alone, the students ordered 15 lessons in the coming weeks, and months later, they were even asking for a therapist to help with their anxiety, I made the call to the next-door school and started the next leg of my educational journey as I began my fifth year of grad school.

For the “Bachelor’s Degree,” whether it’s degrees in science, math, computer science, or any other endeavor, study is study. It’s a process that includes writing papers, attending class, research, writing a thesis and collecting data.

For educational leaders this process is a tedious one. Every single semester, there are hundreds or sometimes thousands of students. The learning process requires so much attention, analysis, writing, teaching, recording, taking exams, and so on. That can amount to a 24/7 job.

When most people think of their job as a job, they typically think of paying the bills and earning a paycheck. Think of the movie career, a line of work that could end with a steady paycheck from a company called something like Sony, Disney, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Universal, CBS, Fox, NBC, Comcast, or the unlikeliest of all, YouTube.

Imagine, however, if every movie you saw required multiple years of constant, front-line, on-the-job training. If all the movies you viewed required a copy of a documentary about how those who made those movies, without any on-the-job training whatsoever, went into their own documentaries and learned to become a valuable source of information about things you never thought were so important to yourself. Imagine that all the jobs you believed would allow you to buy houses, send kids to college, pay off credit card debt, save for retirement, and build new relationships meant spending years, even decades, at the job, studying, studying, studying, with no paycheck, no salary, no security, and no professional titles. That’s a reality.

I spend hours each week looking for ways to create jobs, openings, and careers for people in my communities. I deliver over a dozen books a year that teach job skills and insight. I found this opportunity, after my fourth book, to put time-intensive coursework to use and help more people improve their education, their quality of life, and their economies.

My experience is fairly typical of what other business owners across the country are finding themselves forced to do as an increasing number of new college graduates move out of the classroom to work full-time jobs and stay employed longer and pay off college debt. Their generation grew up with the internet, and we are facing a transformation in education. Young people are hungry for — and gaining — more information, more quickly. What they are learning is not so much new ground as it is tech and practice. They are looking for a new pathway to degree or certification and they are telling us they want schools that work with them, they want flexible schedules, and they want online learning.

But many educational leaders simply do not believe online learning is an authentic, authentic experience. They believe there is something inherently wrong with the online experience and that because students are in front of a computer all day, every day, they are simply not going to relate to what goes on.

Many members of Congress, university leaders, and others believe that learning online is not a truly serious journey because the college professor is not personally present. And for good reason. As we’ve learned through research about sustained student motivation, most students do not change until they are shown, shown, and shown. And they don’t come through the door of the computer.

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