This study aims to examine why students choose to or choose not to take and their perspectives of online courses, by obtaining responses from both students who have and have not taken online classes.
A survey methodology is used, including both open‐ended qualitative questions as well as a quantitative question.
Support for past research was found through students indicating the importance of flexibility and convenience in online courses. Countering past research was the high level of consistency between the two populations’ perspectives of online courses. Two key distinctions were found between the populations: the amount of focus on the cost of courses by those choosing not to take online classes, and the awareness of the need of self‐motivation needed in online courses by those who had taken them.
This research was conducted at just one organization, so generalizability across institutions would need to be confirmed.
Institutions need to be aware of what constitutes students’ choices and perspectives between the various methods of taking courses.
Students may need additional preparation and realistic expectations in order to increase the likelihood of being successful in an online course. Institutions also need to maintain the rigor of their online courses to maintain an overall positive social perception of online education.
This study made a distinction between perspectives of students having had an online course and those who had not, as well as a distinction between choice in selecting online courses and student perceptions of online courses. These perceptions were explored through both quantitative and qualitative responses.
Lauver, K.J., Drum, D.M., Windsor, J.M. and Miller, S.M. (2013), "Preference of education mode: Examining the reasons for choosing and perspectives of courses delivered entirely online", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 113-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/17581181311310315
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