Online Students Outperform Classroom Students

2839515040_be462f8cc4A recent study funded by the U.S. Department of Education found that “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” The research included 99 independent studies over a 12 year span focusing on quantitative comparisons of online and classroom performance over the same material. The New York Times reports that the study found that “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.”

The study’s lead author states that ““The study’s major significance lies in demonstrating that online learning today is not just better than nothing — it actually tends to be better than conventional instruction.” While this hardly suggests that classroom education is not valuable, it does suggest that online education is poised to ramp up over the next few years. Philip R. Regier, the dean of Arizona State University’s Online and Extended Campus program expects enrollment in the schools online courses to triple over the next three to five years.

Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom [NYTimes]

One Reply to “Online Students Outperform Classroom Students”

  1. One has to wonder a couple of things about this.

    I wonder what ages of students perform better.
    I wonder what there is about classroom experiences that are different. On one hand people in the same place have the opportunity/challenge of getting along with other people. That may not be included in assessments of performance of material learned, but is important. Of course, students who are stressed by non-acceptance or who are easily distracted or are themselves distractions to others can find presence in a classroom a handicap.

    I think of homeschooled children I’ve had contact with in the past ten years. They often excel–I’m thinking of their performance on musical instruments here and how many first chairs in youth symphony are homeschooled.

    Obviously you’ve gotten me to think here. Thank you.

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