Still something of a novelty, online education is seen relatively positively by Americans for giving students a wide range of curricula options and for providing good value for the money. However, Americans tend to think it provides less rigorous testing and grading, less qualified instructors, and has less credence with employers compared with traditional, classroom-based education.
Public perceptions about online education's ability to deliver education in a format most students can succeed in, as well as its ability to tailor instruction to the individual, are more mixed, but tilt negatively.
In line with these views, Americans' overall assessment of Internet-based college programs is tepid at best. One-third of Americans, 34%, rate such online programs as "excellent" or "good." The majority calls them "only fair" or "poor." In contrast, two-thirds of Americans (68%) rate four-year colleges and universities as excellent or good, and nearly as many (64%) rate community colleges this highly.