College Guide


June 12, 2013 12:21 PM Do Students Really Want to Take Online Courses?

By Daniel Luzer

Despite extensive hype about the future of online education, most students prefer to continue to take real courses. According to an article by Devin Karambelas in USA Today:

Despite the rapid growth of online learning, many college students say they still prefer the traditional classroom setting.
According to results of a new national research study, 78% of more than 1,000 students surveyed still believe it is easier to learn in a classroom.

But you can’t always get what you want.

While some critics of Georgia Institute of Technology’s plan to offer an all-MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) master’s degree in computer science refer to the proliferation of online courses as “a dystopian nightmare of monoculture,” colleges don’t seem to be listening.

According to the USA Today piece, some 43 percent of universities surveyed say they plan to offer MOOCs in the next three years. That would be a 30 percent increase from today.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • Walker on June 12, 2013 9:24 PM:

    What we are seeing is that HIGH SCHOOL students are very interested in online courses. They see it as a form of "try before you buy."

  • lauren on June 19, 2013 7:53 AM:

    I can see why some students would want to receive online high school credits rather than sitting in a classroom. I would have loved to have that option when I was in high school. I think as long as you are getting the same education then it shouldn't matter if you are sitting in a class room or on a computer. I do however feel like you would miss out on all the opportunities of going to high school has to offer. Thanks for sharing!