Colleges and universities are paying more attention to their online learning programs, and for good reason: The idea of the “traditional” straight-from-high-school student has been eclipsed by a growing group of students who are working adults balancing family and personal obligations. Often, online learning is the preferred program for these students.
Online learning programs have a lot of benefits, but at the end of the day, each student has to decide which program and which learning approach suits their individual needs.
Some of the best evidence of online learning programs’ success comes from students themselves.
College ranking site TheBestSchools.org features testimonials from students enrolled in a variety of online learning programs across the country. Two themes emerged as the team reviewed testimonials from more than 1,000 students: flexibility and the quality of education, including academic rigor and access to professors and classmates.
Here’s a look at some of the students’ testimonials:
1. “Being a high school assistant principal requires devoting many nights and weekends to school functions. With an online program, I can complete my work and interact with my peers at any time as I am not confined to a few hours once a week. Also, my conversations with my peers extend over days and allow both my fellow students and me to interact in authentic and meaningful dialogue. We are able to analyze and evaluate our thoughts before posting them on discussion boards. Sometimes people are not comfortable speaking in front of others or take time to think through their answers; an online platform solves both of these issues. So far, my interactions with my peers have been rich and insightful while also allowing for multiple perspectives.”
—Nicole, F., EdD in Leadership and Innovation, Arizona State University