[Originally published at the Center for Digital Education]
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California at Davis suggests students who attend face-to-face classes outperform students who take classes online.
The sample was taken from the 2008-09 through 2011-12 academic years and included about 440,000 students in the published study (Hughes).
The study’s co-author and assistant professor of education, Cassandra Hart, claims one reason for the findings may be the fact that students usually have to more actively reach out in online settings, and those signs may be hard to see right away by instructors. Students may have to motivate themselves more to complete the work in online courses.
Interesting findings also show the gap between the student populations increased during summer sessions, and students did more poorly in online courses that had a 15% smaller enrollment than the face-to-face counterpart classes.
Hart warns educators not to stop online courses, especially in light of the fact that more legislation is supporting online courses to provide a more affordable, flexible education for a larger population. More research needs to be done on the style, delivery, and results of online courses (Hughes).
Hughes, Jessica. “Students Who Attend Class Outperform Those Online, Study Says.” Center for Digital Higher Education. Center for Digital Higher Education, 7 May 2015. Web. 8 May 2015.