Study reveals students prefer brick-and-mortar setting for 'difficult' courses


Dive Summary:

  • A new study conducted by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College reveals that students taking a subject they consider particularly difficult or interesting prefer a traditional classroom over an online course.
  • The study, "Choosing Between Online and Face-to-Face Courses: Community College Student Voices," was financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and uses data collected from 46 student interviews at two unidentified U.S. community colleges.
  • Students were more likely to prefer online courses in subjects they felt comfortable "teaching themselves," though a 2010 U.S. Department of Education study showed that students in online courses performed better due to what Instructional Technology Council Executive Director Christine Mullins says is the ability to work at their own pace and review a course's content.

From the article:

... “Because they serve a lot of students who work and have kids, community colleges feel they need to offer more and more online courses to meet their demands,” said Shanna Smith Jaggars, the report’s author and the center’s assistant director. “But we looked at, What is the extent of that demand?” ...

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