Is On-Line Learning Superior?


" On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction."
- U.S. Department of Education

93-page report by the U.S. Department of Education on 99 studies done over a 12-year period, showed that when students took courses online they did slightly better than an equal mix of students who took the same courses in a traditional classroom.

Some of the studies involved K-12 settings, but most were done in colleges and adult continuing education programs of various kinds, from medical to military training.

The analysis for the Department of Education found that, on average, students doing some or all of the course online would rank in the 59th percentile in tested performance, compared with the average classroom student scoring in the 50th percentile -- a modest but statistically meaningful difference.

When the online work is supplemented by classroom clarifications or online teacher interaction, plus (in some courses) lab work, online learning can be greatly enhanced. 

These findings are consistent with studies starting as early at 20 years ago that compared computer centered learning with learning levels in classrooms.

The study is titled: Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning -  A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies and is available on their website in the .pdf format by clicking on the title above.


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