In today’s world, the education sector has seen numerous tremendous changes in terms of the delivery of different educational services. For example, the establishment and widespread of the internet has facilitated a massive shift from the traditional way of learning where students have to attend physical classes and sit for their exams in person.
The development of online learning platforms is responsible for this massive shift because it has enabled multiple students to experience long-distance learning.
The widespread popularity of these online learning and course-offering platforms such as StraighterLine, Sophia, Coursera, and Western Governors University (WGU) is a result of their convenience and low cost compared to the traditional institutions of higher learning.
This article compares two of these platforms, StraighterLine vs. WGU to provide you a sneak peek of the two platforms and compare their features and attributes.
StraighterLine Vs. WGU
StraighterLine was established in 2008 as a branch of Smarthinking, Inc., a top dispenser of online tutoring services. It is an online education company responsible for offering its students higher education courses. On the other hand, WGU is an online, non-profit university, established by 19 governors from different US states in 1997. This online university is responsible for offering its students higher education courses too.
Below is a list of features that this article will employ to offer you a better contrast of the two platforms and in the end suggest the better platform between the two.
Course Enrollment Procedure and Cost
StraighterLine does not have any enrollment procedure because its commitment is short-term. All you need to do is to open an account on this platform, pay the subscription fee and start learning. When you enroll for a StraighterLine course, you will only have to pay a monthly subscription fee of 99 US Dollars and an additional 59 US Dollars for each course you undertake. Therefore, it will cost you a total of 149 US Dollars to complete a single course at StraighterLine. However, you have a chance to study multiple courses simultaneously, which will cost less.
On the other hand, admission to WGU is a pretty long and complex process. The process comprises several steps which depend on the program you are enrolling for. You will need to have an associate degree or a high school diploma to qualify for an undergraduate degree in this platform. Furthermore, you need a bachelor’s degree to get admitted to its graduate degree platform in whatever field. When it comes to the cost of enrolling for a course, WGU charges a flat-rate tuition fee of $3200 for an undergraduate program and $4200 for a graduate program. These costs cater for a six-month term.
Also see: How to Pass StraighterLine Courses
Although the two platforms offer cheaper courses than the traditional colleges and universities, enrolling for a course in StraighterLine is way cheaper than enrolling for a similar course in WGU. The admission procedure in StraighterLine is also more simple and convenient.
Accreditation and the Number of Courses
StraighterLine offers its clients more than 60 certificate, diploma, and undergraduate courses, which have been accredited by the American Council on Education Credit Recommendation Service. In addition, it partners with approximately 130 different institutions of higher learning which accept a full transfer of credits in its numerous courses. More than a thousand other institutions have reviewed and accepted transfer credits from this platform.
WGU offers about 55 bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and post-baccalaureate degree programs, all offered in its four colleges. WGU has been accredited by Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Consequently, all its four colleges, College of Health Professionals, Teachers’ College, College of Information Technology, and College of Business have been accredited by the regulating bodies including CCNE, CAEP, CAHIIM, and ACBSP respectively.
Also see: StraighterLine Vs. Portage Learning
Comparing the two online course-rendering platforms in terms of the number of the courses and their accreditation, WGU comes out on top. The courses it offers in all its four colleges are trustworthy and are, therefore, widely recognized by numerous employers worldwide.
Duration of Completing a Course
StraighterLine is pretty convenient in terms of the study pace that it allows for its students. Completing a course in this platform takes an approximate period of four to six weeks, which is dependent on the learner’s schedule and availability. This means that it facilitates self-paced learning for each individual, whether they are employed or wish to study full-time. A student whose schedule is not so tight and is a fast learner can take a minimum period of up to two weeks to complete a StraighterLine course.
Also see: StraighterLine Vs. Sophia
Consequently, the time a student would take to complete a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in WGU is self-paced just like in StraighterLine, and is dependent on the student’s schedule and hard work. Completing a bachelor’s degree will take a student about half a year to four years depending on the degree program, with the average completion period being approximately two and a half years. On the other hand, it would a master’s degree student an approximate period of between six and twenty-six months to complete the program, consequently, depending on the type of program they are studying and their schedules.
Both platforms are pretty convenient in terms of the study duration because they are both self-paced. It is evident that completing a course or a full degree in either of the platforms will take a shorter time, than completing a similar program in a traditional college or university.
Once you enroll for a course in StraighterLine and pay the stipulated monthly subscription fee as well as the cost for the course you wish to study, you are ready to start learning immediately. Some of the study resources that StraighterLine will provide you with to ensure smooth learning include electronic textbooks to help with the learning, live support whenever you need it and one-on-one tutoring from highly qualified tutors. The good thing about this platform is that you can access these study resources 24/7.
Also see: Easiest Straighterline Courses
On the other hand, WGU offers you access to e-textbooks, program mentors, and course instructors, who you can access and consult at any time of the day. A program mentor is a highly-qualified person in the field of your study who helps you to create a study plan for the term by offering you information on different programs, procedures, policies, and evaluating your strengths and needs. Consequently, course instructors are highly-qualified online tutors in the subject matter and are responsible for offering the students expert guidance on their courses on one-on-one forums.
It is evident that both platforms have effective study resources that would benefit students accordingly if they utilized them appropriately. Therefore, in terms of study resources, both StraighterLine and WGU prove to offer the best that they can.
In StraighterLine, a student ought to complete exams, mid-term exams, and the final exam to complete a course. In other courses, students have to write essays, complete assignments, and homework and write lab reports to pass the course. All the exams that are offered through this platform are open-book, apart from the final exam that is proctored by a private company known as Proctor U. It is vital to remember that failure to meet the pass mark, which is often 70 percent will lead to the student retaking the course.
WGU evaluates its students by using objective and performance-based assessments. Objective assessments are exams developed by WGU, and they comprise true-false, multi-choice, or matching questions. On the other hand, performance-based assessments are written assignments issued by the course instructors and are submitted through a plagiarism checking software called Unicheck. It is essential to note that this online university does not offer open-book exams as all its exams are proctored in collaboration with Proctor U or Examity.
Comparing the two platforms in terms of how they offer their exams, it is evident that WGU is more competent than StraighterLine. This is because the online university works hard to maintain examination integrity by employing proctoring services on all their exams.
Comparing StraighterLine vs. WGU leaves you in a better position to make a wiser decision when selecting a platform to enroll for an online course. Therefore, utilize the information mentioned above to help you weigh the two platforms and select your preferred choice from there.