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Preference of education mode: Examining the reasons for choosing and perspectives of courses delivered entirely online

Kristy J. Lauver (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Wisconsin‐Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA)
Dawna M. Drum (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Wisconsin‐Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA)
James M. Windsor (University of Wisconsin‐Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA)
Sheila M. Miller (University of Wisconsin‐Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 19 April 2013

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey methodology is used, including both open‐ended qualitative questions as well as a quantitative question.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted at just one organization, so generalizability across institutions would need to be confirmed.

Practical implications

Institutions need to be aware of what constitutes students’ choices and perspectives between the various methods of taking courses.

Social implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited