chapter  7
26 Pages

Students in the Online Technical Communication Classroom: The Next Decade

Knowing about our students-their demographics, likes, dislikes-is useful in

any teaching situation. What are online students like? What do they enjoy about

online instruction, and what do they dread? How can I reach them when I am

advertising my program? Pertinent student information can help us preview

pitfalls, advertise our programs, and provide a useful benchmark to compare

with our own student populations. In Chapter 2 of Online Education: Global

Questions, Local Answers, I reported the results of a survey investigating

attributes of students in technical communication online distance courses. This

chapter is a replication of that study. Replicating any study in which time might

change the results is necessary; with online education becoming more common

and more accepted nationwide, as students become more comfortable in the

process, and as Internet use increases in every age group, our results might

change. Add in the explosion in online technical communication programs,

which multiplies the geographic range, the number of schools, and the student

populations they draw from, not to mention the growth in online technical

communication PhD programs, and we have an exigence for updating the data.