Why More and More Students Are Taking Online Classes


Conventional education has for a long time now been revered for the role it plays in cementing a strong teacher-learner bond that enhances the learning experience. In this case, the physical presence of both a teacher and the learner in a classroom setting was mandatory. Accordingly, many individuals of the yesteryears never imagined a time when learning would be accomplished without demanding the physical presence of the parties involved. The internet though has sought to refute this trend and today, an increasingly high number of students are taking online classes. Perhaps one of the questions that we need to examine here is why is this case?

The wide choice

To start with, online classes offer the students a choice of various classes at their disposal, and depending on the content and workload involved, an individual student is in a position to decide which classes to attend online, and which to avoid. This is one form of flexibility in learning. Another form of flexibility in online learning is that one has a chance to attend classes even in the comfort of their homes. This way, a student, and especially the working class, can balance between, on the one hand, their work and on the other hand, attending school (Kolowich, 2009, par. 3). This way, a student can still work full-time and at the same time, attend classes without compromising on their employment. Scheduling conflicts are not just an issue for the employed students or those with a family. Younger students of college-going age are also joining online campuses, to balance their education-leisure life. This trend may partly be explained by the fact that in principle, the timeline of operation for online courses is not as strict as the regular courses.

Saving money

The issue of saving money and more so during these harsh economic times has resulted in an increase in the number of students taking online classes. Still, on the issue of cost, the increase in gas prices has resulted in more students taking online classes, in an attempt to cut down on their expenses incurred during traveling. This, and the fact that online classes enable a student to study at their convenience, has resulted in a two-fold increase in the number of students taking online classes since 2002 (Lohr, 2009, par. 5). With the regular classes, the attendance schedules are somewhat fixed, and it involves a lot of traveling on the part of a student. Furthermore, with online classes, one is in a position to learn from even the remotest parts of the country (Calhoun, 2008, par. 6).

The high level of practicality

The high level of practicality that characterizes online learning is yet another reason why it is appealing to more students (Lohr, 2009, par. 7). Although online classes had previously been shunned for the lack of interaction between the teacher and the students, the incorporation of online discussions is however seeking to change all that. In addition, teachers are increasingly getting involved in the learning progress of their online students, and this has encouraged more and more students to enroll in online classes.


Since the overhauling of correspondence courses in favor of instant messaging, web-based video, and other collaborative tools, online education has become more user-friendly, in effect appealing to even a large crowd. In the not too distant future, expectations are that online education will accord learners the experiences that have been customized to meet the individual needs of students, more that is the case with regular learning.


Calhoun, R. (2008). Online classes attract more students. ABC News. Web.

Lohr, S. (2009). Study finds that online education beats the classroom. The New York Times. Web.

Kolowich, S. (2009). Recession may drive more adult students to take online courses. The chronicle of higher education. Web.

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