As competition for fully-online students grows, new research calls for universities to update their strategies in order to win over students.

The research, compiled from a survey of 1,500 students who are seriously considering, currently enrolled in or have recently graduated from a fully online program aims to help higher-ed leaders and policymakers better understand both the traits of online college students and what they’re looking for in their educational experience.

The Online College Students 2017: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences report, from The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research, shows that online students are seeking interaction with their classmates and course instructors. In fact, more than half of survey respondents said interaction with the academic community is important.

Roughly one-quarter said having more contact with their instructors and more engagement with classmates would improve the caliber of their online courses.

Fully-online students use mobile devices regularly, according to the survey. Eighty percent of online students use a mobile device during their search for an online program and school, and 40 percent go on to use their device to access their online coursework.

(Next page: Recommendations to help online schools improve their programs for students)

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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