Introduction

GTCC serves over 5300 online learners in its degree and certificate programs. The demand for these courses increases each semester. It is with this in mind the Online Student Navigator would like to provide a snapshot of who these learners were at the start of the 2016-2017 Academic Year.

Definitions

  • An Online Student is a student who takes one or more online classes to keep on track with program completion goals.
  • An eDegree Student is a student who takes their full academic program completely online and doesn’t ever come to campus to conduct business.

Gender

Among the eDegree student population, 78% are women. Among online students taking one or more online classes, 65% are women.

Age

The online student population is younger than the eDegree student population. 46% of online students taking one or more online classes is between 18 and 24 years of age. The eDegree population is a bit older with 54% of these students is between 25 and 40 years of age.

Credit Hours Taken

eDegree students take more online credit hours as compared to online students. eDegree students average 9 online credit hours a semester and 5 face to face credit hours. Online students average about 6 online credit hours a semester and 7 face to face credit hours.

Work

Online and eDegree students work and go to school. 24% of online students work 40 hours or more per week while 44% of eDegree students work 40 hours or more per week.

Student Status

eDegree and online students choose to attend school either full-time or part-time. 52% of online students taking one or more classes was enrolled as full-time and 40% of eDegree students was enrolled as full-time at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.

Student Challenges

Taking online courses is not without its challenges. The top three challenges of online students are 1) managing their time, 2) balancing work and school, and 3) personal challenges. The top three challenges of eDegree students are 1) managing their time, 2) balancing work and school, and 3) making time for family and friends while completing their academic program.

Voices of Online Students

Online students say their additional learning challenges are…

  • to motivate yourself
  • limited engagement with the professor/teacher
  • it is like a correspondence course
  • the only challenge I have is getting a response back from my teacher many times I do not receive any response to a question
  • the time lapse between asking questions from the instructors and their response
  • I do not have a computer at home and I have to use the one either at work or at the local library

Voice of eDegree Students

eDegree students say their additional learning challenges are…

  • adjusting from brick and mortar classrooms into an online learning environment
  • the engagement isn’t as strong when compared to a face to face class I really enjoy the online courses where videos and tutorials are factored in…to help keep my attention and drive
  • ensuring that all my assignments are completed in a timely manner without feeling rushed
  • prioritization has been a struggle for me
  • classes that are 2 credit hours but have 4 credit hours of work to complete with little feedback and instruction from teachers
  • some teachers are less clear than others which can be difficult at times

Sources

  • Demographic information is from the GTCC Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Affirmation data warehouse, student grades, and course description files.
  • Online student survey information is from the March 2017 administration of the “Online Student Challenges Survey”
  • eDegree student survey information is from the March 2017 administration of the “eDegree Student Challenges Survey”

Getting More Information

For more information about the data from this infographic or for more information about eDegree and Online coursework please contact the Online Student Navigator at 336-334-4822 extension 50615 or by email at edegree@gtcc.edu.