As part of my grad program, I’ve been looking into online learning and its effects on student performance and grades. I’ve posted about this a few times already, but wanted to share my research in its final state, and so I’ve included the full paper below.
In a nutshell though, I found that taking an online course causes no impact on student grades. I looked at grades of students in traditional face-to-face (f2f) environments and compared these with grades of students taking one online course and the rest in a f2f format. While both of these groups did experience a decline in their grades from tenth to eleventh grades, the decline was at essentially the same rate in both groups. The difference between the two groups, at less than 1%, is negligible and reinforces the value and integrity of online learning.
At the end of the day, those who are successful, continue to be successful whether in classes that are 100% f2f or partially online, and the inverse is true of those who struggle in their classes – they continue to struggle in either environment.