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That Online Degree May Be Worth Something

September 18th, 2009

When I was talking with my father about the online classes I am taking, he wondered how such coursework is considered in terms of reliability: after all, anybody could be taking these classes for you. Just as traditional correspondence courses may not be respected all that greatly because there are so many opportunities to cheat, so might online degrees be discounted.

But maybe not so fast–a new study suggests that online students may actually be more honest than their on-site counterparts. While the study is limited to counting people who admit to cheating rather than the actual cheating itself (as evidenced by there being more people who admit to helping others cheat than there are people who admit to cheating directly), the value is in the comparison of results between the two venues. Unless people taking classes on the ground have more motivation to admit to cheating than do online students, the results may be noteworthy.

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