Report shows students still prefer classroom over computer

September 7, 2011 2:01:46 PM PDT
As educators innovate with new ways to put college classes, coursework and textbooks online and into the mobile realm, a new report finds most Americans aren't ready to give up lecture halls just yet.

The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life project reports that academics have a more positive view of online course work than the average American.

Just 29 percent of adults overall agreed that online courses have the same value as those taught in a traditional classroom, versus 51 percent of college presidents. Of those surveyed who'd taken classes online, 39 percent said their experience was on par with those they'd taken in-person.

Despite the current perceptions, academics expect big growth in online offerings over the next ten years, and that has the potential to cut some of the most common costs of college, like room and board and offer students more flexibility to work while they pursue a degree.

Nearly two-thirds of the college presidents expect the majority of their undergraduate textbooks to go entirely digital within the next decade, saving students more money still.