Top 10 Books on Online Education, Diploma Mills and More

Let’s face it – as potential online students, it is not uncommon for us to turn to our favorite online site for research and news. A quick search in Google or Yahoo will almost immediately bring up information on what we are looking for without us having to do too much work. The speed and convenience of the internet is what has revolutionized business and eduction today.However, despite the overwhelming use of the internet today, many people still enjoy researching and gathering information from more traditional, off-line sources. The ability to sit with a book and a cup of coffee is something that many enjoy on a daily basis.With that in mind, listed below are our top 10 list of books discussing distance education and online degrees. This list comes from a search of Amazon.com and includes books that have been rated highly with their popular “star” system. Although these books do not provide an exhaustive overview of the online education system, we hope to provide a glimpse of what information is available in the “off-line” world.

Virtual Education: Cases in Learning & Teaching Technologies by Fawzi Albalooshi

Dollars, Distance, And Online Education: The New Economics of College Teaching And Learning (American Council on Education Oryx Press Series on Higher Education) by Martin J. Finkelstein, Carol Frances, Frank I. Jewett, and Bernhard W. Scholz

Bears’ Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning by John Bear, Mariah Bear M.A., Mariah P. Bear, and Tom C. Head

Bears’ Guide to College Degrees by Mail & Internet: 100 Accredited Schools That Offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorates, and Law Degrees by Distance Learning (College Degrees by Mail and Internet) by John Bear and Mariah P. Bear

Earn Your Degree Online and Get Good Grades: Tips For Success in Online Courses from an Online Education Faculty Expert by Russell C Kick

The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Getting Your MBA Online by George Lorenzo

Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk by Richard H. Hersh, John Merrow, and Tom Wolfe

How To Be a Successful Online Student by Sara Dulaney Gilbert

A Classroom of One: How Online Learning is Changing our Schools and Colleges by Gene I. Maeroff

Degree Mills: The Billion-dollar Industry That Has Sold Over A Million Fake Diplomas by Allen Ezell and John Bear
While most of the books that made our list are focused on higher education, it is important to note that online education is beginning to make a significant impact on high school and home school education as well. In fact, there are already full-time, diploma-granting online public high schools in existence today such as Insight School of Washington State.As the internet and technology continues to change the face of our education system, it will be imperative that students and parents alike learn the intricacies of online education. Whether you prefer to do research online or off-line, one thing is clear. There is an abundance of information available to you today. You must learn learn to use it to your advantage.

Analyzing Online Education Opportunities

As the demand for online education has grown, so has the supply of online education opportunities. Take advantage of this large number of new online education opportunities by finding a program that is tailored to your needs. Here are four things to do before choosing the online education opportunity that meets your needs:1. Clearly Define Your Educational GoalsYou need to know exactly what you want to gain from your education. How much are you willing to spend? Are you trying to sharpen or reinforce your professional skills with a couple of classes? Are you trying to take a whole new career direction? Are you trying to advance your career with a new degree? Are you trying to add a more prestigious college to your resume? If you don’t readily know the answers to all of these questions you may need to do some thinking over them before you’re ready to proceed. Don’t invest too much money in an educational program that may not meet your goals.2. List All of the Likely Solutions to Your Educational GoalsLook over the materials provided to you in brochures and on the Internet from all universities that appear to relate to your educational goals. If they have academic advisors, take advantage of them to bounce your thoughts on your education off of them and get advice. Gather as much information from as many online educational institutions as possible. Compare their scholastic offerings, educational styles, costs, and educational support systems to your educational goals. Use this information to narrow your list down to a few schools that seem most suited to you.3. Research the Schools ThoroughlyThere are probably more fake online degree programs than legitimate online degree programs. If you aren’t sure of the reputation of the college with which you’re dealing, do some accreditation research. Once you know that the institution is legitimate, make sure that the site you’re visiting is actually the site of the institution to which it claims to belong. A quick call to the school’s listed phone number on a national educational institution listing site should let you verify that you are indeed dealing with the school with which you believe you’re dealing.4. Go with Either a Big Name or AccreditationIf your school of choice isn’t a big name school such as Harvard, make sure that the school offering the online education opportunity has proper accreditation. Accreditation is how most employers and other educational institutions determine whether schools they’ve never heard of are providing adequate education. Accreditation may not be as important for local private colleges, but it is generally vital for online degree programs from small colleges.

7 Ways to Ensure Success With an Online Education Degree

The ability to obtain an online education degree has opened the educational doors for many students who cannot afford to attend school on campus as a full-time student. Distance learning courses definitely provide some advantages over the traditional college education. But, because of the methods of delivering and receiving the material, students must consider the 7 things necessary in approaching an online education successfully.1. Choosing the best education online institution – Make sure the institute for higher education chosen has adequate resources and accreditation recognized by the proper authorities. Unless authenticity can be verified, find another school. Sadly, unscrupulous degree mills offer degrees with short-term or no real education. Thus, the diplomas are bogus and absolutely worthless. Find a school that provides solid education, ample student support, and the facilities necessary to succeed in your distance learning.2. Check the cost vs. benefit – Many students don’t check the cost-benefit factor before enrolling into an online education degree college. We are all aware that acquiring an education requires huge amounts of money. But a smart move is to first compare with what the future earning potential of your profession will be once you earn the degree. Once you figure this out, only then would you determine if it makes sense to acquire an online education degree.3. Degree validation by employers – No wonder many employers are wary of online degrees. With bogus institutions literally selling degrees, employers have good reason to be doubtful and cautious. Therefore, immediately alleviate any potential misgivings by your prospective employer by offering verification of accreditation through an agency sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Education and CHEA.4. Discipline, determination, and time – First time distance learning students are often surprised by the amount of discipline necessary to stay on task and complete the online assignment. It takes unfaltering determination to achieve an online education. In addition, without regularly scheduled classes, it is essential to exercise good time management skills. To keep focused, without the physical presence of educator and peers, it is important to establish communication with other students to have another push toward success in your education degree online5. Utilize all the facilities provided by your college – Many education degree online courses provide online lectures and email access to facilitate communication among students, lecturers and administration staff. It’s important to take full advantage of these services as they keep you “connected” with your accredited online college. It helps further your motivation in your studies when you make use of these facilities to stay in touch.6. Make use of credit transfers – Many online education degree colleges allow students to transfer their credits from courses they took in previous colleges, whether online or traditional. By doing this, it means students don’t have to repeat courses they learnt before. For this to be effected, it’s important for a student who intends to pursue an education online to make sure they get transcripts and results from their previous universities or colleges and make them available to their accredited online college so they can be passed as transfer credits.7. Take advantage of technology to complete your class work – Another factor for online education degree success is the opportunity to take advantage of all the conveniences that technology provides. Many accredited online colleges provide students with online digital libraries, databases and resources that a student can use to complete their course work and assignments. In most instances the cost of these facilities is already included in the tuition fees. Thus it makes good sense to make full use of these resources to your advantage.