Online education expert: Discipline is key

Three-fourths of campuses with online programs said demand has increased over the past year, and two-thirds of colleges that don’t offer web courses said students had requested online learning.

Last year’s 17-percent jump trumped 2008’s 12-percent increase in online class enrollment. Overall, higher education enrollment increased by 1.2 percent last year, according to the Sloan report.

Peery said her first years in Montgomery College’s online course program were primitive when compared with today’s advanced web sites and course management systems that can be customized by educators. Peery said it took hours to upload Microsoft Word documents to the class web site, which was devoid of graphics and bogged down by slow dial-up web networks.

Today’s online students have a slew of interactive features and instructors who track student eMail through smart phones. While Peery said she has never been known as “a technology gal” on the Montgomery College campus, she said tech-savvy educators can customize their course content to fit their students’ preferences and needs.

“If you have the know-how, you can pretty much do anything now,” she said.


Montgomery College

Maryland Distance Learning Association

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