Aspects of Student`s Personal Lives between Online and In-Class In Chico State Students and How it Affects Graduation Rates

Aspectsof Student’s Personal Lives between Online and In-Class In ChicoState Students and How it Affects Graduation Rates


Onlineand In-Class Chico State Students


Whataspects of student’s personal lives differ between online andin-class Chico State students, and how does that affect graduationrate?

Purposeof the Research

Thepurpose of this research is to establish whether there is asignificant difference between the aspects of student’s personallives of online and in-class students at one Chico State and if thereis a significant difference how does that affect graduation rates inthe state.

Significanceof the Study

Onlinelearning is growing in popularity very fast. Thousands of students inChico State are enrolling to online classes with other students inother states replicating this trend. There are people not able attenda traditional college classroom but with Internet they are able toenroll for online degrees. Online schooling involves multi-taskingwhere the student has to be familiar with computer programs, filesand emailing for a chance to succeed in that environment.


Thecontribution of Internet to education cannot be underestimated byanyone. It has numerous resources and exciting ways facilitatingteaching and learning. Internet enables teachers and students to tryout new ideas once they conceive them. Students appreciate theconvenience offered by online classes. On the other hand, instructorsare fascinated by the standard framework in place. They also commendthe ease of record keeping and a cut on travel costs. It also cuts oncost of building lecture halls to colleges.

Contributionto the Existing Literature and Political Concerns Related to theTopic

Thepaper will determine whether students are setting themselves up forfailure by choosing e-learning. It will also establish the drop-outrate between students enrolled to distance-learning and in-classlearning. This comes amidst plans by the Government to promotee-learning among states in an attempt to offer education and trainingto its people. E-learning has been found to be cost effective wherebylearning is neither limited by the class room size nor the number ofteachers in school. Apparently, this move by the Government hasbrushed education officials the wrong way with their cry forface-to-face school citing interaction is paramount between teachersand students (Gardner, 2014). For problem solving subjects such asmathematics and science, interaction is necessary to facilitatelearning.

Anotherpolitical concern of web-based learning is that it could lead to someof the teachers losing their employment. In a situation wherestudents no longer have to attend classes could lead to laying ofteachers. However, the lot of teachers involved in technical subjectssuch as the sciences and drawing stand a higher chance of remainingat work unlike their counterparts. Therefore, there have been criesto the government to regulate e-learning in a bid to retain teachersin school.

Theoryand Literature Review

Inthe past years, studies have been carried out relating to distanceeducation. Some studies have found out that online learning can bevery effective for certain courses. However, for mathematics andscience a face-to-face setting with the instructor is preferred toasynchronous e-learning. A section of researchers found insignificantdifference in contentment and drive between online and in classstudents.

Web-learninghas also been found not to be effective for every learner. This isparticularly the case for young people and the more disadvantagedstudents. Adults demonstrate maturity and responsibility thus aremore likely to complete online courses. In contrast, traditionalcollege in-class learners are usually between the ages of 18-24 thusbenefit from the social setting provided by a college.

Theolder folks view college from an education perspective given they areeither working full-time or engaged to their families. In addition,they are after career advancement or increasing knowledge in theirarea of interest. On the contrary, for younger adults, campus isplace to socialize with an array of friends and freedom away from theparents.

Majorconcepts being Researched

Inclass and online learners have particular aspects of their personallives which include physical, mental, emotional, social, financialand spiritual. Consequently, general well-being that involvesmaintaining a balance in all the aspects of an individual’spersonal life has a positive correlation with academic success forboth in-class and online learners. Therefore, a shortfall in balanceof either of the aspects leads to deterioration in academicperformance preceding school drop-out.

Thephysical aspect of life entails the health and how a student takescare of their body. It includes what the student eats, exercise, howthey maintain their bodies, posture and how they carry themselves onthe outside. It is a very important aspect and without proper care ofit an individual cannot enjoy other aspects of life. In-classstudents are likely to be physically active everyday compared to thecounterparts of web-learning. The former may have to take a walk tocampus or stroll around it with a group of friends. They could alsoenroll themselves to various clubs at school. Consequently, thein-class student stands a higher chance of finding themselves hittingthe gym. They could also engage in a dancing club that improves theirphysical health.

Onthe contrary, distance learners are less likely to involve themselvesin outdoor activities. A good number of these learners are thoseworking full-time or those with extended shifts choosing to enroll toan online course for career development. Due to inadequate time,online students decide to consume fast foods in order to keep up withtheir studies. Consequently, it could result to heart diseases anddiabetes decreasing the chances of a student ever graduating.

Sociallife is also another important aspect of life. It entails how astudent connects with others. A student’s identity could be definedby the way others perceive the student in his/her social circle.Therefore, it is of paramount importance that a student spend timewith family, peers, relatives and meet new people.

Studentsattending a traditional college are more likely to have an activesocial life than their counterparts in web-learning. In the course ofattending school, an in-class students is likely to encounter his/herformer friends and also make friends with people from all walks oflife. In contrast, online learners are less likely to make newrelationships regularly since the learning involves less interaction(Gardner, 2014). As a result of personal development from an activesocial life, in-class students are more likely to have highergraduation rates than e-learners.

Mentalhealth is also another important aspect of student life. A student isobligated to learn new things every day. Both in-class and distancelearners are expected to sharpen their cognitive capabilities. It ispossible through keeping oneself to date with the news and politics.Moreover, involvement in simple activities such as playing Sudokupuzzles could also sharpen a student’s cognitive skills. It isparticularly important to be of good mental health to reduce chancesof Alzheimers and also given that cognitive abilities may be lost ifnot exercised.

Thereis a balance between both in-class and e-learners having sharpcognitive abilities. The former tend to rely on hard copies such asbooks and physical games that are problem-oriented to sharpen theirminds. Conversely, online learners could depend on soft copies suchas e-books and technology such as video games and puzzles to sharpentheir minds. Consequently, sharper minds are a prerequisite to bettergrades thus a higher graduation rate.

Lastly,the spiritual aspect of life of in-class and e-learners also willdetermine the graduation rate in college. Spirituality could bedefined as the relationship an individual has to the world. Thespiritual life of a student determines their way of thinking, howthey act and their perception of the world. As a result, a studentwith a strong spiritual foundation is likely to be of a highself-esteem and also very ambitious thus increasing their chances ofgraduation.

Studentsattending traditional college may be compelled to join religiousgroups within college which has a positive impact on their lives.This could be through positive peer pressure or through therequirements of a college that a student be affiliated to a religiousorganization in school. In contrast, online learners may be lesscompelled to be spiritually upright with little to no supervision. Asa result, they are more likely to indulge in worldly pleasures thatnegatively affects their education. Consequently, it will decreasestheir chances of graduating in their online courses.

Variablesand Hypotheses

Thepurpose of this study was to study the aspects of student’spersonal lives that differ between online and in-class Chico Statestudents and how it affects the graduation rates. Studies have shownthat they are many factors determining the extent to which aspects ofstudent’s personal lives might affect graduation rates. Theyinclude

  • The physical aspect of student personal life.

  • The social aspect of student personal life.

  • The mental aspect of student personal life.

  • The spiritual aspect of student personal life.

Thesevariables may either increase or decrease the magnitude of therelationship. The aspects of student’s personal lives betweenonline and in-class Chico State students is the independent variable,graduation rate is the defendant variable and all the variables thatmight affect this relationship, either positively or negatively areextraneous variables. From the viewpoint of measurement, thevariables can be categorized as categorical, thus use of nominal andordinal scales (University of Illinois, 2014). The categoricalvariable is of a dichotomous nature since it involves only online andin-class students in Chico State.


  • Good physical health of a student increases his/her chances of graduation.

  • A strong spiritual foundation is key to success in college.

  • Student actively engaged socially has a higher chance of graduation.

  • A balance of the student’s aspects of personal life is key to their success in school.


Asample of 500 students in Chico State enrolling to online andtraditional college was taken with the objective of determining howaspects of their personal lives determined their graduation rates.The sampling design, which is a definite plan for obtaining a samplefrom a given population, used was that of probability sampling. As aresult each element of the population had an equal chance of beingincluded in the sample.

Theprobability sampling method involved is random simple sampling. Asimple random sample is one, which every member of the population hasan equal and independent chance of being selected. Randomness as asample selection process can be accomplished with either lottery or atable or random numbers. Both methods require a listing of thepopulation units.

Thedata collection used was included in the methodology where there wasthe use of questionnaire. This method was preferred due to its lowcost and it is also free from the bias of the interviewer.Closed-ended questions were used as listed below:

DoesChico State have a higher number of in-class students than onlinestudents? Yes {} No { }

Doin-class students have a higher physical health compared to onlinestudents? Yes { }

No{ }

Doonline learners have more developed cognitive abilities compared toin-class students? Yes {} No {}

Doin-class students have a higher graduation rate than online learners?Yes { } No { }

Inconclusion, in-class students will be sounder mentally, physically,socially and also spiritually. As a result, it could also increasetheir chances of graduating from the traditional college. Conversely,a good number of persons who enroll for online courses tend to dropand this is particularly the case for younger adults with lowerlevels of maturity and responsibility. Therefore, in-class learningshould be encouraged for younger adults, those between 18 and 24years while e-learning is convenient for older adults since they havea higher level of maturity and responsibility.


Gardner,M. (2014). TheBenefits of Online Training versus Offline Training.Available at

Universityof Illinois (2014). Writinga Research Proposal.Available at