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40% Students Are Inclined Towards Online Courses - Shiksha.Com's Survey Report

This survey report by Shiksha.com, Indian Students' Preferences on Online Degree Courses, highlights opinions of different groups of students regarding enrolment into online degree courses.

Keeping in tandem with the current situation of online education in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, Shiksha.com, an established online platform in the field of education, has rolled out a survey report on ‘Indian Students' Preferences on Online Degree Courses’.The report holds within its periphery results of several surveys conducted regarding online education among students. It also reveals, with substantial evidence, why students prefer online degree courses and the reasons that hinder their enrolment in said online courses. 

Online education, a domain that was limited to students who were unable to study full-time, has now broadened its horizon to include almost all the students from across the globe of the world, owing to the spread of Coronavirus. To ensure authenticity, credibility and better understanding, the report has also enclosed information on the distribution of the survey respondents. The respondents were divided into three categories based on the three types of courses they were enrolled on, which are – full-time regular degree, online degree and distance/ correspondence courses. 

The survey reveals that for non-technical streams like Arts, Commerce and Science, the willingness of students to opt for online degree courses was higher when compared to students from technical streams. The highest percentage for the willingness of students to join online courses was in the stream of Commerce at 47 per cent and was closely followed by Science and Arts, both at 43 per cent. The percentage for Engineering was slated at 41 per cent while Medicine came last with only 40 per cent.  

Lack of real college experience attached with the fear of missing out on campus life was one of the most important reasons which deterred almost 50% of the students from enrolling in online courses. Nearly 35 per cent of online/distance course students and 47 per cent of full-time course students were unsure about the credibility of an online degree. 

Shiksha.com attempts to show the two sides of the same coin and points out the advantages of online degree courses as well. 

Easy accessibility and cost-effectiveness were the two most important reasons for 57 per cent and 25 per cent of students, respectively, which influenced their decision-making process in favour of online degree courses. Another 25 per cent of full-time course students and 31 per cent of online/distance course students revealed that they would opt for an online degree course if it was offered by a prestigious institution. Additionally, 15 per cent were interested in joining online degree courses in general. Cumulatively, 40 per cent, combining both full-time courses and online/distance courses, have expressed their preference and interest to join online degree courses. 

The survey report also encloses 6 recommendations that the colleges/universities can implement to build trust around online degree courses. The six recommendations are elucidated below:

  1. College Fees and Pricing – Making online degree courses affordable so that students from diverse financial backgrounds can choose to study these courses is the need of the hour. 
  2. Selection – The selection procedure for students and teachers should be stringent in order to improve the quality of education imparted as well as the quality of students being enrolled online. This step will contribute towards increasing the credibility of online degree courses.
  3. Networking Opportunities – Sufficient opportunities and platforms should be made available so that the students can communicate with the professors, fellow classmates, seniors, guest lecturers, experts of the concerned field and the like.
  4. Student Accountability – Student’s work progress, performance and level of understanding should be scrutinised and tracked. This will allow them to take these courses seriously and also, inculcate in their proper time management skills. Another initiative that can be undertaken is to provide platforms for communicating with professors and classmates regarding workload and educational goals.
  5. Accredited Programmes and Validity – Getting accredited by known agencies, along with building credibility also has other perks attached to it such as financial aid for students. This step will undoubtedly, entice more students to get enrolled in the online degree courses of such accredited colleges/universities.

Shiksha.com is a repository of reliable and authentic information for over 49,000 institutions, 3.05 lakh courses and has monthly traffic of more than 25 million visits. Information regarding college reviews, entrance exams, college rankings, etc., under all major educational streams such as Medicine, Law, Information and Technology, Banking and Finance and Mass Communication, amongst a plethora of other disciplines is available on the website.


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