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New Evidence for Online Learning Outcomes
As the CIRTL Network works to expand its slate of online courses and activities, the rapid developments in online learning are of great interest to team members. A new study was released by Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit research and consulting organization, on the success of online learning. They sampled approximately 600 college students taking an introductory statistics course at 6 different universities. One group of students completed the course in a traditional setting, with 3-4 hours of in-class instruction each week, while the other group participated in a “hybrid-course” with online elements coupled with 1 hour of in-class instruction.
Participants were asked to complete a series of tests before and after the course. Researchers found that those in the hybrid-course scored slightly higher than those in the traditional classroom setting, although the difference was not found to be “statistically significant”. The publication states, “We find that learning outcomes are essentially the same – that students in the hybrid format ‘pay no price’ for this mode of instruction in terms of pass rates, final exam scores, and performance on a standardized assessment of statistical literacy.”
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