Online Colleges: Ready for Some Respect

Department of Ed. study shows e-learning is effective
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2009 3:50 PM CDT
Lisa DiPasquala, right, from Glen Gardner, N.J., gets resume tips from Donna Sweiden, during a Careerbuilder and University of Phoenix job fair in New York, Thursday, July 9, 2009.    (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – The educational establishment has been slow to accept online colleges as serious teaching institutions—programs like the University of Phoenix are commonly dismissed as “diploma mills.” But a new study by the Department of Education shows that, in many cases, students perform better with e-learning than in a traditional college environment. The US needs to take advantage of online schooling as much as possible, writes the Christian Science Monitor’s editorial board.

The ED’s study found that e-learning works because students can set their own pace, devoting more time to a problem than in the traditional school environment. And online school can help close the US education gap, as the time flexibility and lower cost puts it in the reach of adults for whom traditional schooling is not possible.