|To a large degree, you are experiencing the confusion experienced by many employers as they review the growing trend of online education. The general belief is that there are numerous excellent online courses, and the number of degrees regarded as excellent is increasing. In fact, there is already widespread praise for various online degrees in technology and new media. |
As you look over an applicant's online education, check to see if the institution is accredited or if it is partnered with any known academic institutions. As part of this step, try to learn about the background and credentials of the faculty. In terms of the actual program, take a look at the content and structure of the courses, the opportunities for online interaction among the students, and the techniques used to assess the students' knowledge and evaluate their performance. A visit to the institution's web site can answer many of these questions.
In terms of the bigger picture, don't forget that students who pursue online degrees usually do so while working full time, and that points to a good deal of self-discipline, independence, and initiative. And further, there is a lot more to an applicant than his or her degree, so be sure to look at the whole picture, and not just the one on a monitor.