Today, you can earn a degree from a major university without ever having sat in one of their classrooms. Many colleges and universities are offering online courses and degree programs now.
Online Learning Programs
With a computer and an Internet connection, you can earn a degree from home, work, or anywhere else for that matter. Online degree programs follow much the same routines as traditional learning, with a few twists. There are lectures, but they won't be in person. There are assignments (作业) , but you won't hand them to your instructor. In most situations, you are free to "go to class" when it fits your"schedule. If you get a phone call during class, you don't have to miss anything. If you get sick, you don't have to ask for someone's notes, and you just visit the lecture later.
You'll communicate with your instructor by e-mail, chat room and instant messaging. Your classroom will live in a special software program. Contrary to popular belief, you will have close contact with other students and the instructor.
Evaluating the Program
There are a lot of questions to ask before you make your selection, such as:
How do students interact with each other?
★Online programs can use chat rooms, instant messaging, teleconferencing, and video conferencing to communicate. The key is to find a program that has this interaction built into it and even requires it.
★What kind of reputation does the school have?
It may seem simple-a good school will have a good online program. This reputation,however, may not be as straightforward as you think. It's not uncommon for a great school to have a weak program or two. So you'd better look at the overall quality of the school and make a judgment.
The Employers' View
As more and more employees get online degrees and use them in the workforce(职场) , hiring managers will begin to feel more secure about the quality of education these people have.
56. In which way is online education special?
A. If you get sick, you'll miss the lecture.
B. There are lectures, but you don't need to meet the lecturers.
C. If you get a phone call during class, you will miss something.
D. There are assignments, and you must hand them to your instructor.
57. What is the most important part of online communication?
A. To use e-mails.
B. To look for a program with interaction.
C. To use chat rooms and instant messaging.
D. To use teleconferencing and video conferencing.
58. For whom is the passage probably written?
A. College students. B. Hiring managers.
C. Adult students. D. High school students.
As a high school athletics coach, I gave a speech about football to students and parents, aiming at getting new team members :I talked about how"everyone can benefit from football. This year, a worried-looking couple approached me. Their son, who had a sickly childhood, really wanted to play football. They'd tried to talk him out of it, but he had his heart set on joining the team.
When they told me his name , my heart sank. Michael was short and thin. He was a lonely kid and the constant target of other kids' jokes. I knew Michael would never make it. But so close to my "football is for everyone" speech, I told them we could give it a try.
On the opening day of practice, Michael was the first player on the field. We started a one-mile jog around the track. Repeatedly he fell, each time picking himself up. The same thing happened for weeks. But Michael put his whole heart into the training. Cradually, Michael gained strength both socially and physically. He began to laugh and most of the teammates became friendly. By the last week of practice Michael could run the mile without falling. He asked me to add a few more exercises he could work on his own. Soon , Michael ran the opening mile faster than anyone.
One day after practice, the team captain, Steve, came up to me. He was talented but lazy.He was popular with students even though he could be heartless. Steve pointed to the field where Michael was jogging all alone and asked me why he was still out there. I told Steve to ask him. The next night, I was surprised to see Steve exercising right next to Michael.
Finally our big game came-at first we were losing by twelve points. I could see that some kids had already lost heart. But Michael was playing as hard as he could , begging the team to keep trying. Finally we won the game by one point in the final ten seconds.
At our celebration dinner, we always gave a big award to the most productive player. Steve had scored the most points that season, and everyone cheered as he received his award. " There's someone who deserves it more than I do," Steve said, " Everything I accomplished, and everything the team accomplished this season, is thanks to one person-Michael. " The entire team cheered as Steve turned the prize over to the player who had inspired them all.