Campus Support – A Barrier for Younger Distance Learners

Few days ago, I entered a debate with my colleagues that how useful and helpful online education has been and nearly all comments that were made highlighted the negative aspects of online education comparatively to its brighter aspects.

Today, it is not far away to see that many businesses have become online and the number is continuing to grow. The very same would not be wrong for education as it has also started to become online. People nowdays are of a doctrine that turning everything automated and online has become the need of the busy schedules and the vivid life style.

But when it comes to education, the online mode of education has not been very successful. A study depicts that about one in five distance learners / students attempting undergraduate university courses fail or drop out because of no campus support. This rate has been much higher than for students who are attending on the campus courses. But who should take warning from this?

Some of the very prominent researchers have finally called on universities to try to identify students inappropriate for distance study or online education.

These researchers with further investigation are trying to find out the loophole. They studied that still younger students under the 25 years of particularly find distance learning more difficult, and the reason of the hardship is missing the support of the campus. They furthermore drew the attention of most of the instructors involved in managing online classes to the point that some educators basically fail to achieve so with distance learners / students.

Other proposed that it certainly may not be just the age factor. There may be different circumstances that may hinder the progress. Many distance learners or students choose online education because they work full-time, face heavy domestic demands or some of them are studying because they are free and want to occupy their spare time. Such situation may to some extent give the explanation.

They calculated out of an approximate sample of 396,000 bachelor-degree students, for an instance, only 74.2 percent of the distance learners passed, compared with 85.6 percent of students attending courses on the campus and 79.8 percent of part-time camp students.

The figure also showed that of the distance students, 18.7 percent failed, 4.4 per cent withdrew and 2.7 percent were still trying to finish. The failure rate for all campus students was 11.6 percent.

One can see this prototype is repeated across fields of study. In a case where failure among campus students is high in courses, such as in science, business and engineering, the rate among distance learners is even higher. In a comparison with age factor, the distance failure rate was 25.5 percent for younger students with age ranging from 20-24, compared with 12.1 percent students of the proposed sample. The distance failure rate still reached to 20.3 percent for those 25-29, 15 percent for 30-39, 13.5 percent for 40-49 and 12.8 percent for 50-59; all were notably higher than on campus.