WEB EXCLUSIVE: Internet provides new way to earn a degree


Gail Peters spends a lot of time in her car.

Peters is the Ohio Learning Network’s regional coordinator for all of Northern Ohio. She helps students across Ohio get online degrees.

The OLN allows people who cannot physically come to class earn degrees, Peters said. The OLN has about 130 online degrees and from 900 to 2,000 courses at any given time, Peters said.

Classes start on the first of every month and last four weeks, Peters said. The course syllabus outlines how many hours it will talk students to complete each course. The average is between eight and 10 hours, Peters said.

Over the length of the class, students will use e-mails, discussion boards, chat rooms and online quizzes to learn, Peters said.

Online assessments help students figure out what classes to take, Peters said.

Peters said students need to be self-motivated and have strong study skills.

“Don’t procrastinate because that can kill you,” Peters said.

To ease the transition to online course work, OLN offers E 4 Me, an online orientation, Peters said.

E 4 Me introduces technology used in online learning, allows users to access a catalog of courses and degrees from Ohio colleges and universities, and connects users to the university of their choice, Peters said.

— Jessica Dreschel