05 Mar 13
students who enrolled in online courses -- controlling for various factors that tend to predict success -- were more likely to fail or drop out of the courses than were those who took the same courses in person.
Notably, there was not a gap in completion between those enrolled in hybrid and in-person courses.
virtually every group of students fared less well (defined by the number of course credits they completed, and/or by their grades) in online courses than they did in on-ground classes.
Men showed a more negative effect from online courses than did women in terms of both course persistence and grades. Black students’ grades fell significantly more in online courses, as did those of Asian students. Students with stronger academic skills saw their course persistence and grades decline less in online courses than did students with weaker academic credentials.
lder students were less likely to complete online courses than they were on-ground courses, though their grades were actually slightly higher. But traditional-age students saw their comparative performance decline such that while they outperformed adult students significantly in face-to-face classes, they lagged their older peers in online courses.
colleges should focus on improving the quality of all online courses, to “ensure that their learning outcomes are equal to those of face-to-face courses, regardless of the composition of the students enrolled. Such an improvement strategy would require substantial new investments in course design, faculty professional development, learner and instructor support, and systematic course evaluations.”
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