In a recent article by The Chronicle of Higher Education, What Do Students Want From Online Courses?, the publication examines the findings of a study conducted by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research. The study focused on the wants and needs of students enrolled in online courses- from what mediums they learn with, to the support services they are offered. The survey offers a wide range of information that could drastically improve the way online courses are delivered. However, three main takeaways stand out, and addressing these student needs could improve enrollment in courses delivered online, as well as increase rates of completion by making online courses more of what students really want.
1. Mobile Capabilities
70 percent of survey respondents said that they wanted to complete at least some of their online coursework on their mobile device, while 12 percent said they would prefer to complete all coursework via their smartphone. So while it may not be necessary to make courseware entirely mobile compatible, making quizzes, review modules, or other learning activities easily accessible to students with smartphones could be a huge benefit to students who are always on-the-go.
2. Access to Career Services
One of the biggest issues raised by survey respondents was the lack of access to career services for students in distance learning. Many said that they would like better access to services including internship search guidance, mentorship, job shadowing programs, resume workshops and more. Ensuring online students have the same advantage as traditional students in finding a job post-graduation should be high priority for schools providing online degrees. Investing more time and resources into providing effective and reliable career services for online students should be at the forefront of the minds of higher-ups in higher ed.
3. Taking more time to decide
Lastly, the survey revealed that most students feel some kind of regret towards their college admission decisions. A whopping 84 percent of survey respondents only requested information from three or fewer colleges, leaving many feeling as though they did not properly weigh their degree options. In addition, 12 percent of survey respondents said they regret not learning more about financial aid, and tuition and fees before making their decision to enroll.
For more insights, read the full report from Learning House