One of the myths of online learning that is often spoken about online psychology degrees is that the instructors in these courses are not as qualified as on campus courses. The reality is that as online degrees have become more readily available, the criteria for teaching an online course has become much more rigid. When online degrees first became available, they were largely offered by “degree mills” that offered unaccredited degrees taught by unqualified instructors. Since that time, online degrees are subject to the same rules regarding accreditation and the instructors of courses must be equally qualified.
Qualifications for Online Instructors
In order to teach an online course, instructors must meet a number of important qualifications. The first is degree level, which will be discussed shortly. The next is experience. Most accredited colleges and universities will require instructors to teach on-campus versions of courses before they are qualified to teach online. This insures that they are comfortable with the material and that their teaching style will be effective in an online format. Another important qualification is technological savvy. Online instructors tend to be individuals who possess the academic qualifications as well as the online know-how to help students through the process of online learning.
Training for Online Instructors
Each college that offers online degree training will use an online system, such as Blackboard or Moodle. In order for instructors to teach online sections of courses they will general be required to complete a training session, either online or in person to learn how to use the system. Many colleges also require that online instructors complete periodic trainings to stay on top of changes to the system and online learning in general.
Degree Requirements for Online Instructors
In order to receive full accreditation, online instructors must hold the same degree as their on-campus counterparts. Meaning, if you must hold a doctoral degree to teach Abnormal Psychology on campus, you must hold the same degree in order to teach Abnormal Psychology online. Degree requirements vary from state to state and from school to school, with minimum degree requirements varying. What is important to note is that you would receive the same quality education whether you complete the course online or on campus.
There have been some research studies that suggest the caliber of professor you encounter online may be just as good or even better than on campus faculty. They are often younger, more technologically savvy and more plugged into the changes society is encountering. In the field of psychology, it is important to stay on top of societal ebbs and flows. Having an instructor that is tuned in enough to watch these changes could make for a much more positive educational experience. Online psychology courses are taught by highly qualified and trained faculty members.