10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online

10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online

At the recent iNacol Virtual Schools Symposium, participants had the opportunity to hear directly from a panel of students who explained why they preferred learning online. Here are some of the reasons they shared:

1 I can sleep in. While this may sound indulgent to the over-30 crowd, the reality is that adolescents need more sleep than adults and often function best late at night.

2 I can pursue my passions. Several students are learning online because they are pursuing passions that do not allow them to fit into the traditional school system. We heard from a student who competes in equestrian competitions; for others it may be music, writing, acting, or filmmaking.

3 I can focus on my work without distractions from my classmates. For many students, school is a huge distraction, especially in high school, where the focus is often more on socializing and fitting in than on learning. Students shared that in online classes, they can focus their attention on learning.

4 I can move at my own pace.

5 I don’t have to compete to share my thoughts and ideas. The playing field is leveled, and students can provide feedback about such things as posts, videos, and student work as well as participate in discussion forums.

6 I can take classes that are more interesting. Providing online opportunities for students means providing more choice.

7 I can learn with a schedule that meets my needs.

8 I can learn despite health problems that might get in the way of a traditional class setting.

9 I can easily communicate with my teacher when I have to. Online environments typically have structures in place whereby students can easily send private instant messages or emails to their teachers and end up feeling much more supported by and connected to those teachers.

10 I can easily communicate with my classmates when I want to. A traditional classroom setting often discourages students from communicating with one another. The online environment makes it much easier for students to connect with one another on topics of interest in both synchronous and asynchronous environments.

—Lisa Nielsen