Study: Students Want To Learn Online


Online learning appears to be playing a more and more vital role in the lives of students. In a study released last week by Project Tomorrow and Blackboard, a large percentage of middle and high school students expressed an interest in taking courses online that aren't offered at their schools.

The study, "Learning in the 21st Century: A National Report of Online Learning," reported that 47 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 would "pursue online learning to secure courses not offered at school." Thirty-two percent of
students in grades 6 through 8 responded the same way.

The study, culled from a survey of 250,000 students, teachers, and parents in the United States as part of the 2006 Speak Up project, also indicated that, indeed, some 20 percent of those students in grades 6 through 8 have already taken an online course at school or on their own; about 33 percent cited online classes as "a component of their ideal school," the study showed.

What do parents think of all this?

Forty-two percent said they think online classes are "a good investment to improve student achievement and to track their child's progress." A lower, but significant percent of teachers (28 percent) said they would like to see alternative online courses offered in their districts.

The complete report is available online free of charge here.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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