Should traditional universities be replaced by online learning?

By Dain Maher Posted June 4, 2014

With online courses, unlike the actual tests and lectures that you would find in a traditional university, there is no way to ensure the person is not cheating on the other side of the computer screen. There is no way to ensure that there is complete academic honesty when a student turns in an essay online. They could have paid a friend to write it for them or it could craftily plagiarized. But even if they are the same people, there is no way to prevent cheating during the tests and examinations given online, as people can just have cheat sheets in front of them and have no supervisors to stop them.

Even so, it is highly unlikely to believe that people can easily find another person to complete the degree for them, no matter how dedicated their friend is. Payment is always one way to dedicate people to the cause though. And even if that friend or relative is a professional in the field, it does not mean that they could successfully pass the degree as universities update their examinations and degree materials yearly.

In terms of having essays and papers written by another person, this problem is no different from the traditional universities, as they cannot easily verify that the person themselves wrote those either.

The main point is that online learning fosters an environment that opens the possibility of cheating. What most people don’t realize is that online learning also requires a lot of dedication as there is no set class time and all work must be done from a computer and all work must be turned in by a set due date. People with the dedication and perseverance required to complete an online degree are generally honest hardworking people that are simply looking to expand their education and that is what these online universities are banking on.

The crucial point about university degrees is that they ensure that the person is a professional. With online courses, that is not possible, which undermines the whole idea of a university degree.