Online degree programs have changed distance learning. Decades ago, distance learning used to be considered as a sort of second-class education. Most distance learning schools would offer secondary craft and skill training by way of short or middle length courses with little or no instructor-support. Only a limited amount of highly prestigious universities would offer distance learning as an option. Unfortunately, the black shadow over distance learning has not fully disappeared, but it has largely diminished thanks to the information highways and the current abundance of prestigious online degrees.
In fact, the Internet has proven to be the most adequate vehicle for any solid and fully functional distance education program. The perfect interaction of the students with the educational institution is assured by online communities, private fora, on-chat tuition, voice-over-IP and many other systems and improvements. Learning may at times be quicker than in conventional (face-to-face) studies, as the student is immersed in a sort of one-to-one tuition. Evaluation follows the most modern educational trends and is fully or almost fully based on paper-writing and other non-exam systems to check your progress and let you earn your online degree step by step. Such systems allow you to further learn when undergoing evaluation, rather than taking them as a sword hanging on your head, as exams are often perceived.
Nowadays, the extraordinary evolution of distance learning since the fifties and sixties has merged with the cyberspace era, and no serious educational institution can realistically refuse to provide online degree programs, even if their main activity continues to be addressed to face-to-face students. Hence the variety and flexibility of online degree options at present. And this is for certain a taste of things to come. It is not far-fetched to foresee a near future when most of our education -as, in fact, most of our work and most of our activity-, will happen online. As technologies evolve towards a multi-channelled Internet combining real-time image, much bigger bandwidth with full-duplex audio for everybody, and the development of more sophisticated and user-friendly online community software, it will be certainly a matter of (short) time until most education will take place in this new universe where everything is possible. Online degrees are here to stay.
In order to provide a productive online higher education, people who are involve in teaching environments are constantly developing programs to identify the most effective online learning for virtual teams, to creating trust in online education. In this sense, nowadays people can choose any career online because teachers will provide regular feedback. Years ago people can’t imagine studying finance degrees online, today is possible because education really changed with arrival of Web-based video, instant messaging and collaboration tools. The real promise of online education is providing new experiences with the most recently content created in base of community teams online.