This paper presents a large scale study of online MLIS students (n = 910), who completed at least one online course and were enrolled in 36 of the 58 ALA-accredited MLIS programs in Canada and the United States. The results indicate that the typical student is female, White, lives in an urban setting, and is in her mid-30s. Online students were found to be quite diverse, with statistically significant differences in their preferences and satisfaction across five demographic variables: age (generational cohort), employment status, urban status, commute distance, and program modality. Three motivations emerged: accommodation, predisposition, and selectivity, which influenced the respondents to choose online learning. The prevalent issues online MLIS students experienced were a sense of isolation from peers and instructors, and a lack of professional development and networking opportunities with peers. The findings have implications for enhancing MLIS online education including marketing, course offerings, and student support services.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Education for Library and Information Science|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2015|