The debate over the value of online learning has been going on for a while now – and has featured speculation from many critics who assume that there is no way that online education can fulfill the educational needs of today’s students, and vocal support from many who tout the importance of online learning platforms for education today. While there may be a few conversational tactics to address the doubters – the supporters of online education are getting a boost from a study released over the summer.
The report from Ithaka S+R, an education-focused research and strategic consulting firm shows that both hybrid in-class and online learning curriculums and fully online programs have similar learning outcomes to face-to-face programs. Other key take-aways from the study?
- Students Learn More From Active Discussion – This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with how active learners approach their own education, but it’s definitely worth repeating. The more you can do to make your classroom a place for lively conversation and engaging discussion – the greater your students outcomes will be.
- Hybrid Classrooms Work – Transitioning any part of your classroom online can be a difficult process, but according to the study, these tech-integrated classrooms perform on par or better than an only face-to-face educational experience.
- Greater Tech Integration Will Lower Costs – Although the initial transition may seem financially daunting for many higher-ed institutions the study indicates that the ROI for online education more than makes up for any early costs.
While it’s may still take some time to convince the online-learning doubters of the importance of tech-integration for the future of education, studies like this can do a lot to help make the argument for supporters.