4. Which Mode Students Need?

4.3. Face-To-Face Learners

Many students coming straight from high school will be looking for social, sporting and cultural opportunities that a campus-based education provides. Also, students lacking self-confidence or experience in studying is likely to prefer face-to-face teaching, providing that they can access it in a relatively personal way.

However, the academic reasons for preference for face-to-face teaching by freshmen and women are less clear, particularly if students are faced with very large classes and relatively little contact with professors in the first year or so of their programs. In this respect, smaller, regional institutions, which generally have smaller classes and more face-to-face contact with instructors, have an advantage. Also, blended or flipped learning is increasingly being used for very large classes, with lectures available online, and smaller groups meeting face-to-face with an instructor or teaching assistants.

We shall see later in this chapter that blended and fully online learning offer the opportunity to re-think the whole campus experience so that better support is provided to on-campus learners in their early years in post-secondary education. More importantly, as more and more studying is done online, universities and colleges will be increasingly challenged to identify the unique pedagogical advantages of coming to campus, so that it will still be worthwhile for students to get on the bus to campus every morning.