Do students really prefer online learning compared to in-person?
From looking at the statistics it does not seem that online learning has a really great advantage. Just looking at MOOCs it looks like it is more of a great reference point for learning breifly or doing research for certain answers. However, not many people seem to take those online programs too seriously. By compairing MOOCs to British Columbia Institute of Technologies part time studies rate, though there are no hard statistics on it. It still seems from the people I interact with in my part time program that they are eager to want to continue and complete the certificate, diploma and/or bachelors.
I have tried to complete a course on Java with MOOCs a few months ago. What I found was that it did not have any type of reminder that I had to come back and complete the course. It was just showing how far I have completed the certificate. Compared to when I take courses at BCIT I have a scheduled class every once a week. This means I develop a routine. This routine helps keep me motivated and a lot of other students too.
By just comparing my personal experiences to others it still seems that in-person learning is the best way to go. In-person learning provides accountability, time management and communication skills. The interaction with others seems to be a key motivating factor in getting students to continue on in the education.