What US College Students Think About Online Learning

With all the talk about disruptive education innovations such as "massively open online courses", "inquiry-based approaches", "flipped classrooms", "online tutoring", and "interactive content and gaming", one might get the impression that there is indeed a revolution occurring all over campuses in the US. Working in a university can help inform in what students really prefer. Thus, the question one may raise, "Are students excited about these disruptive education innovations?"

Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, tries to answer this question. This firm recently released a report, "The Future of Education Study". The following is a snapshot of the blog article that states the findings of the report:

Snapshot captured 13 June 2013

The first few paragraphs do provide the impression that students are embracing the innovations in education. The fraction of students having the impression that physical classrooms are no longer necessary is substantial, 50%. And more than half seeing online colleges as reputable is truly remarkable. Working in a university can help inform in what students really prefer. Oops, yes, I already wrote that sentence earlier. I am probably being guided by some invisible force because the findings of this report are simply not what I am seeing. Perhaps, students at Georgetown University are different. 

The survey above, first of all, involves "1345 students from colleges across America". According to Mashable, The students polled were from a random sample among Internships.com's millions of registered users. That is something to keep in mind. Thus, with regard to sampling, this is all I know at this point: 1345 individuals randomly selected from millions of registered users in an internship website. 

The next interesting point is that the blog article actually presents revealing data, but saves it until near the end of the article:

78% of students still believe that it’s easier to learn in a traditional classroom than online.

Mashable provides a better title for this report. Here is a snapshot of its blog:

Snapshot capture 13 June 2013

Not only does it have a better title, but it definitely has more "shares" or satisfied readers. It even got reposted on the Huffington Post.

Snapshot captured 13 June 2013