Students prefer to take ‘important’ courses face to face

Students said they also avoided taking public speaking classes online, in large part because facing the challenge of giving a prepared speech in front of a live audience on campus was a key to learning the keys to the class.

“If I really wanted to get something out of the class, I’d want a podium and a live audience,” a student said.

Shanna Smith Jaggars, the author of the CCRC report, said understand which courses were considered a bad fit for online education would be important for community college officials who, until now, only had anecdotal evidence showing which courses were popular online, and which classes were considered better in person.

“Most students felt they did not learn the course material as well when they took it online. For most students, this deficit was due to reduced teacher explanation and interaction; for some respondents, the weaker student–student interaction was also problematic,” Smith Jaggars wrote. “As a result, students did not want to risk taking difficult courses online and  preferred the richer experience of the face-to-face classroom when learning about subjects they felt were particularly interesting or important.”

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