The Acceptability of Online Degrees Earned as a Credential for Obtaining Employment | Adams and DeFleur

Adams, J. & DeFleur, M. (2006). The acceptability of online degrees earned as a credential for obtaining employment. Communication Education, 55(1), 32-45. Retrieved from

Adams & DeFleur (2006, pdf here) described employers’ preferences of traditional degrees over online and compared the external value and acceptability of traditional and online credentials in terms of employability. The paper presented employers’ views of the quality of one’s education based on the reputation of the institution, suggesting greater applicability of badges that are externally valued. Adams & DeFleur showed how employers factor the qualifications and characteristics of candidates. The study compared applicants that followed a traditional route with those that attended an online or hybrid program, and the findings revealed that employers do not regard online degrees equally as traditional degrees, with implications and considerations for the design of digital badges.

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Mozilla Open Badges
Digital Badges are web-enabled credentials of learning or accomplishment. -Erin Knight, director of the Badge Alliance
Badges contain detailed claims about learning, links to actual evidence of learning, and they're shareable over the web. -Dan Hickey, DPD Project Lead Investigator
To me, digital badges represent the bridge between formal learning & informal structures. -Alex Halavais, DML research competition winner
Open Badges can help people tell a verifiable story about their accomplishments. -Nate Otto, DPD Project coordinator
Regardless of where you start, it’s more than likely you’ll end up somewhere other than your intended destination. That’s okay. Systems are living things, and your badge system needs to be flexible. You must embrace a bit of chaos in its design. -Carla Casilli, Director of Design + Practice at the Badge Alliance