Where Do I Go To If I Have Question About Online Learning

Most people, I think, use the internet as a place to do things like get info from doctors and how to take a pregnancy test. They use online learning as well, and that’s why the curiosity that inspired me to write about this topic, was awesome.

By Charles McArthur, CNN

Online learning is taking off in college and high school around the world. But you wouldn’t know it from the Americans who are most apt to sit in front of a screen.

In their 30 years of work with students around the world, researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered that Americans are the least likely people globally to take online courses.

What’s more, Americans are the most likely to drop courses due to a lack of Internet access.

CNN visited several online learning campuses in the New York area, and found that students expressed skepticism about the courses they could take.

By contrast, students from Tanzania, France, and the UK were quick to download course materials and excited about the opportunities they offered.

Awareness was a problem. Some students walked up to the front desk at Saint Lawrence University’s flagship campus in New York and asked for a syllabus. Others asked for short courses that offered tangible credits for a degree — and that had no fees.

Students from Tanzania were particularly impressed with the online versions of the country’s high school curriculum, built by their government. One student said the on-campus sessions were “not attractive,” and that online took more of an effort and time to complete.

Fellow student Bruce Butler told CNN he studied for 13 hours a day, never looking at a textbook, to become a licensed pilot.

French high school student Sophia Corrado from Paris told CNN that not having to pay tuition on her entire semester of French coursework was “extremely important” to her. Corrado traveled to New York for the course, making the long trip two days after her final exam.

Other students were simply turned off by the medium. At Queens College in New York, Joseph Sayes, a 22-year-old American studying social science, never used his Internet connection. He only attended one class, solely from his hotel in New York, because he didn’t like how it was formatted.

“There’s no commas and so forth,” he said. “I like a more factual format, something that my professors will teach me. So, in a world where a whole generation doesn’t like to read things the way their professors teach them, that was probably a deal-breaker for me.”

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