International Graduate Students’ Challenges and Learning Experiences in Online Classes


  • Tala Michelle Karkar-Esperat Texas Tech University, United States



asynchronous class, international student, online class


The purpose of this case study was to identify the learning experiences and examine the challenges facing three international graduate students enrolled in online, asynchronous classes in an American public university. Applying the lens of constructivism, data were collected from a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and a focus group. Findings from the study indicate that the students faced challenges with English language proficiency, isolation, instructor’s lack of experience, and a lack of motivation to study in online classes. Notwithstanding, students described flexibility and convenience as key factors of the learning experiences in a virtual classroom. Implications for administrators and course designers in understanding student perspectives of online classes and best practices for conducting asynchronous classes are provided.

Author Biography

Tala Michelle Karkar-Esperat, Texas Tech University, United States

TALA KARKAR-ESPEART, PhD, is a student at Texas Tech University (TTU). She is currently working as a Research Assistant at the TTU College of Education, where she is investigating students’ perceptions of online course. Her research interests are in online classes, literacy coaching, multiculturalism, new literacies. 




How to Cite

Karkar-Esperat, T. M. (2018). International Graduate Students’ Challenges and Learning Experiences in Online Classes. Journal of International Students, 8(4), 1722–1735.



Research Articles (English)