Learn more about an online master degree and the basic things you need to get started in online education.
Getting a master degree online is advantageous for men and women who wish to pursue advanced studies but could not afford to leave their jobs. An online master degree program allows students to obtain a postgraduate diploma without requiring them to report to campus, attend classroom lectures or school events. Online education programs are designed to provide flexibility and convenience to aspiring postgraduate students who are tied up with work or family commitments, preventing them from attending regular or full-time masteral programs.
An online degree is equivalent to a degree obtained from an on-campus program. The key difference is that course materials are delivered in digital or web-based formats and class interaction occurs purely online. In an online course, the role of a professor is to disseminate course materials, moderate online class discussions, and provide feedback on assignments and coursework.
Students of an online course may be required to log on to their virtual classrooms at specific times and dates. Online courses normally follow a strict schedule for submitting accomplished exercises and assignments. The grading system for online academic programs will depend on the type of learning management system and instructional methods adopted by the school.
Before being accepted and enrolling in an online program, prospective students need to comply with application procedures of online academic programs. As with course delivery, program application processes are carried out entirely online. Most schools will require essay examinations and letters of recommendation, in addition to fully accomplished application forms, to be submitted online.
Some schools may request students to come to campus for an interview, submit college transcripts, or provide their scores from standardized tests like the GMAT. Application procedures will vary depending on the policy of the online institution you wish to attend. It is best to first review application requirements and ensure that you will be able to satisfy them before continuing with your application.
Online courses are delivered using virtual learning environments. A computer that meets hardware specifications required for the learning management system of your chosen institution is a basic necessity for any online education program. It is also essential to ensure that any software or program required for your online course runs without error on your computer.
A laptop computer is a more convenient option so you can easily find a place and time to do your school work. On the other hand, a desktop computer is relatively cheaper than a laptop but this would mean that you are limited to accomplishing your coursework during your free time at home. Regardless of your choice of computer, make sure you have a decent-sized monitor or screen, a decent processor, adequate memory and hard disk space for file storage, and a webcam for online conferences and discussions.
A printer and scanner might come in handy especially as you work on your assignments. A smartphone or reader device is a great way to bring your required readings anywhere, even as you travel or wait in traffic. There are learning management systems that have built-in interfaces with hand-held devices, which automatically sends instant messages when an update or new material is posted in your virtual classroom.
Most importantly, you need to have a fast, secure and reliable internet connection to allow you to log in to your online classroom. You will also need a working email address to communicate with some of your classmates or professors. Sometimes, an email address and mailbox is supplied by the school, along with your user log-in information and password.
There may be other requirements that you need to comply with depending on your chosen online master degree program. But the essentials listed above basically covers the most important items needed for an online education program. Completing this list ensures that you are off to a good head start in your online learning journey.