Online students want to be part of a community

Photo: Pexels

Photo: Pexels

The study Online College Students 2017: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, by Learning House, shows that students value the sense of being part of an engaged community.

The researchers conducted a survey of 1,500 past, present, and prospective fully online college students, with the goal of finding their inclinations regarding online learning. The key results are the following:

  1. They Want to Be Part of a Community. More than half of respondents say interaction with classmates and instructors is important to them.
  2. They Experience Buyer’s Remorse. Sixty percent would change some part of their search for an online program if they had to do it over again.
  3. Price Is a Factor, But Not the Only One. Price is the primary factor in selecting a school and program, but students are willing to pay more for quality or convenience.
  4. They Are Heavy Users of Mobile Devices. Eighty percent of students use a mobile device to search for programs; 40% use their device for coursework.
  5. Students Expand Their Search to More Schools. Fifty two percent of students requested information from 3 or more schools.
  6. Career Services Are Important. Seventy seven percent of participants report taking advantage of career services provided by their schools.
  7. Institutional Responsiveness Is Important. Two-thirds of students decide where to apply in four weeks or less.
  8. Online Students Spend Less Time in Class Than Guidelines Recommend. A significant percentage of students acknowledge that they spend less time on classroom activities than advised.
  9. There’s More Variety in Their Preferred Programs. Business and Healthcare dominate online education. For graduate students, Computer Science is the most popular subject. 
  10. They Have High Interest in Competency-Based Education. Online students are increasingly aware of competency-based programs.

Overall, researchers found that students are very satisfied with their online learning experience.