College students taking online courses miss professors

Students say they miss personal connections with professors

college-professorsOne of the biggest complaints among college students taking online classes is that they miss personal interaction with professors.

How ironic.

That was an unexpected conclusion in a new Kent State University survey of more than 250 online students.

“I was surprised that was at the forefront of students’ minds and they were so aware of what was missing from the online classroom,” said Bethany Simunich, Kent State director of online pedagogy and research.

She conducted a written survey for students over several semesters.

The study shows how important it is to encourage more communication — albeit over the computer — between instructors and students, especially at a time when so-called distance learning is becoming more popular.

The National Center for Education Statistics estimated that 5.4 million college students, or 25.8 percent, took at least one online course in 2012, the latest year that data were available.

(Next page: Will students continue taking online courses?)

Laura Ascione