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Cause Paper

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  • Feb. 2013
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The Causes of the Increased Online Student Population
The growth of technology has undeniably evolved society today. Advancements have created a lifestyle that caters to people by providing ultimate convenience and efficiency. The education system has recognized this trend, and has proven to evolve with the same approach. According to the Babson Survey Research Group, “Over 6.1 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2010 term, an increase of 560,000 students over the previous year.” These rising statistics root from the students’ ability to control factors such as time, learning style, and money, vastly changing the idea of school and consequently becoming more appealing to students.

Most students enroll in online courses because of the freedom to customize their schedule according to their lifestyle. It offers flexibility to those who may have other commitments, and do not have the luxury to be a full time student. According to Malcom Forbes, the demographics of online learners show that 81% are employed, and the average age of students is 34 years old. These statistics indicate that most students have families to take care of or other demanding obligations. With schools offering online courses, these students now qualify for higher education that would have been once denied due to unfortunate circumstances of life. Amanda Paulson states that, “Fifty-four percent cited the need to work as the major reason they left school.” These conflicted students no longer have to choose, but have the option to work and earn a degree at the same time.

While some students’ dilemmas are work or school, some simply prefer online courses. As children, it has been emphasized that every one is unique. In the same way, every student has different learning styles. Authors Davison M. Mupinga, Robert T. Nora, and Dorothy Carole Yaw conclude that most online students are visual learners as well as self-motivated learners. A personality test...

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