As a college teacher of online classes for more than 20 years, I appreciate the letter writer's concern that online students may have their courses taken by "ringers" ["Be wary of online classes," Jan. 20].

However, the online courses that I have been teaching for 10 years with the Thomas Edison State College of New Jersey require that midterm and sometimes final exams be taken in person, with proctors administering the tests.

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In addition, the majority of my students -- who include police officers, airline pilots, health care professionals and soldiers abroad -- appear to be genuinely interested in learning and applying what they learn to their work and career advancement. I believe they realize that knowledge of content, not mere possession of a diploma, will help them advance.

George Haber, Jericho