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Issues of Online Education/Internet Education/E-learning

You may have seen institutions advertising degree programs in pop-up ads on your computer or in letters in your e-mail in-box. Some of these institutions are legitimate higher education institutions and are attempting to let potential students know that they can take advantage of new technologies to pursue degrees. Others are what are called “diploma mills” and should be avoided. Not only will you waste your money dealing with “diploma mills,” but in Illinois you can be prosecuted for trying to use a “credential” from such an institution. (More on diploma mills). Persons operating diploma mills are becoming more and more sophisticated and some even create bogus accrediting bodies to make their institutions look legitimate so BEWARE!

If you are interested in taking courses via the Internet or other electronic means, the Illinois Virtual Campus (IVC) can provide you with a list of Illinois institutions which offer such opportunities. The Illinois Board of Higher Education seeks to block diploma mills from operating in Illinois, but it is so easy to open a diploma mill that you may be misled before we even know about it. So, if you are interested in taking online instruction, we advise taking it from Illinois colleges and universities or schools that are members of the Illinois Virtual Campus.

Profiles of Successful Online Students

Online learning is not for everyone. Before enrolling in online courses, it is advisable to ask yourself whether you can learn in the absence of other students in a classroom or without meeting a teacher face-to-face. Successful completion of online education demands unique capabilities. Ask yourself the following questions before paying tuition and enrolling in online classes:

  • Are you generally comfortable with technology?
  • Do you have reliable access to a computer and the Internet?
  • Are your computer skills good?
  • Are you motivated enough to succeed without direct support from fellow students?
  • Do you have the self-discipline to see the course through?
  • Are you well-organized?
  • Are you able to work independently without direct supervision?
  • Do you enjoy reading and are you comfortable communicating in writing?
  • Are you good at meeting deadlines?  

At Illinois Online Network, you will find a tool that will help you determine whether on-line learning is a good option for you.

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