Disclaimer: I realize that in a sparsely-populated area, online education can be the only option a student has. I also realize that some of my fellow Miserians teach online, and are putting a great deal of effort into making the online experience as valuable as possible for their students. Any ire and snark are properly directed toward those administrators, trustees, and anecdote-besotted pundits who seem convinced that online education is either a magical money multiplier, or simply a trend not to be missed out on.
Inside Higher Ed reports a study out of California that compared students enrolled in online classes and their face to face equivalents.
The researchers found online students lagging behind face-to-face students in three critical areas:
- Completing courses (regardless of grade).
- Completing courses with passing grades.
- Completing courses with grades of A or B.