This study sought to understand the course needs of student veterans at a comprehensive research university and a regional university. 30 student veterans completed a survey and a follow up interview describing their course format preferences. The study found that most student veterans preferred traditional format classes because it gave them a better connection with their teacher and peers, as well as accommodating their learning style.
Recently, there have been many discussions about how to meet student veterans’ needs according to curricular and course formats. While national studies indicate that many student veterans enroll in online classes, questions about the nature of their preferences and requisites, especially in some university environments, remain. For instance, how do traditional and online course formats address different student veterans’ needs and desires? This article discusses a three-year, case study of student veterans’ course preferences at a comprehensive research university and a regional university and involves forty-two student veterans and fifty-nine nonveterans. Based upon results from survey data and the follow-up interviews of thirty student veterans, students describe their course format preferences. Many students in our sample have a low-socioeconomic status, live in a rural location, work full-time, and have children. Moreover, despite the large number of adult learners participants included, the majority describe themselves as having the digital proficiency necessary for engaging in online courses. Nonetheless, in this study, most students, including those of all ages, preferred traditional classes, with the student veterans reporting that the traditional format gave them a better connection with their teacher and peers, as well as accommodating their learning style. The study’s results have implications for teachers and administrators seeking information about providing course format options for student veterans.
Hembrough, T., Madewell, A., & Dunn, K. (2018). Students Veterans’ Preference for Traditional Versus Online Course Formats: A Case Study at Two Midwestern Universities. Journal of Veterans Studies, 3(2), 57–93. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v3i2.63