Choosing Online or Face-to-Face [...]

Whereas it may be true in the aggregate that no significant difference exists between the performance of students who take a class in an online setting and those who take a class in a traditional face-to-face setting, this study demonstrates that, for any individual student, choice may be very important. For the sample used in this study, 31.5 percent of the students who took the online course and 41.8 percent of the students who took the face-to-face course would have received a grade of at least 3 full grade units higher or lower if they had chosen to take the class in the other format. Such important differences cannot be ignored because they “wash out” in the aggregate. Exploring the notion that online learning may not be equivalent to face-to-face learning (and vice versa) for individual students is not equivalent to rejecting the format. Instead, this research points to the importance of proper advisement processes for students trying to decide whether to take a class online or face-to-face. (Source)

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