TUCSON, Ariz. — Just ten years ago, the idea of doing college completely online didn't seem like an option, but all of that is changing at a rapid pace.
The University of Arizona said it has seen a more than 46% increase in students enrolling in there 910 undergraduate class sections. This is part of the Arizona Online program.
Arizona Online has been around for five years, offering a full virtual undergraduate degree for students.
"When I started with the University of Arizona, ten years ago, I was told were a main campus, were a residential campus, and we really won't do online, and it's going to be very small," Melody Buckner, Associate Vice Provost, Digital Learning Initiatives and Online at UArizona said. "I kind of chuckled at that because I said there is going to be a demand at some point."
To meet up with the demand, UArizona has a studio and production team that puts together these online classes.
"I think in some ways if you think about a face to face class being like a theater production, where it's live and there is magical that happens in the classroom," Buckner said. "An online course is more like a movie. There is a whole production team that helps that person put there information online."
Buckner said she thinks more students are inclined to take online classes because of the flexibility, structure and access from anywhere.
Director of Online Programs, Psychology Ashley Jordan has seen this first hand.
"There are people from all different walks of life, all different backgrounds and having that rich environment, where they're able to come together online and interact with each other as well as with me has really expanded what you're able to see in a face to face classroom where there is a more uniformed demographic," Jordan said.
Buckner said as the demand increase for online classes, so will the production value of the courses.