Choosing between online and face-to-face courses: Community college student voices

Jaggars, Shanna

In this study, community college students discussed their experiences with online and face-to-face learning as well as their reasons for selecting online (rather than face to face) sections of specific courses. Students reported lower levels of instructor presence in online courses and that they needed to “teach themselves.” Accordingly, most students preferred to take only “easy” academic subjects online; they preferred to take “difficult” or “important” subjects face to face. To meet students’ needs, then, colleges need to either more explicitly build instructor presence and guidance into online courses or continue to provide ample face-to-face sections of courses for those students who prefer them.


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Also Published In

American Journal of Distance Education

More About This Work

Taylor & Francis Online
Published Here
April 11, 2014


This is an Author’s Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the American Journal of Distance Education, Volume 28, Issue 1, available online: