Community-College Students Perform Worse Online Than Face to Face

From an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education; you can read the article here.

Some quotes from the article:

…followed the enrollment history of 51,000 community-college students in Washington State between 2004 and 2009, found an eight percentage-point gap in completion rates between traditional and online courses…

…colleges need to be careful to make sure [online] courses aren’t just  thrown together and that they are effectively serving students.

..lower completion rates in online courses often boil down to a  combination of technical difficulties, a lack of structure, and  isolation.

People assume this generation is super-technologically sophisticated, but that’s not necessarily true…

Online courses… are also a double-edged sword when it comes to  time-management issues. On the one hand, students can complete  coursework around their own work and family lives. On the other, online  courses require students to be more proactive about finding time to do  assignments and make it easier for struggling students to fall behind.

Two recommendations

  1. increased technological support for students and
  2. more extensive training in online-teaching methods for faculty

3 thoughts on “Community-College Students Perform Worse Online Than Face to Face

  1. Interesting comments I heard on this study. Paraphrasing here: Basically, so what? The more important question that begs research is why. The researchers for this study declined to review the work that Bellevue College has done over a three year period to try to ascertain why students drop online classes. What they’ve found at Bellevue is that students who drop have lives that are already packed to the brim (family, work, etc.) and just could not continue.

    Also, it was noted that their recommendations are not based on anything. AND we are already doing these things and think they are valuable. So how can those two recommendations be the things that make a difference?

    Lastly, a lot has changed in the time period they looked at. It would be smart to identify the recent trends.

    Anyway, interesting conversation.

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