Friday, 26 April 2013

Students prefer face-to-face courses for some subjects

Inside Higher Education reports that a study from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University gives interesting insights into student attitudes towards online courses.  The study looked at community college student experiences with both "face to face" and online courses, and how/when they chose the online sections of courses.  Students reported that online courses had lower levels of instructor presence and that they thus needed to “teach themselves” in these courses. Accordingly, most students preferred to take only “easy” academic subjects online; they preferred to take “difficult” or “important” subjects face-to-face. The study concludes that "While it is important to respect and accommodate the flexibility needs of busy students by offering online options, it is clear that the majority of students still prefer to take many types of courses in the face-to-face setting. Accordingly, colleges need to take care to avoid curtailing the availability of face-to-face course sections, particularly in academically challenging or advanced areas of study."

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