From the “No $hit, Fred,” files: Some Groups May Not Benefit From Online Education, via Inside Higher Ed:
Some of the students most often targeted in the push to use online learning to increase college access are less likely than their peers to benefit from — and may in fact be hurt by — digital as opposed to face-to-face instruction, new data from a long-term study by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College suggest.
“Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas,” by Di Xu and Shanna Smith Jaggars, researchers at the center, examines the performance of nearly 40,000 Washington State community college students who took both online and on-ground courses, and finds significant differences in how various subgroups performed. Students of all types completed fewer courses and achieved lower grades online than they did in face-to-face classes[. M]en, African-Americans, and academically underprepared students had the biggest gaps between the two mediums.
I’ve written here before about my skepticism that the MOOC and online “revolution” is being led by people affiliated with highly selective private universities, when after all they’re producing a product that’s intended for the state uni and community college crowd. Here’s why it’s important to talk to faculty who teach first generation students, working-class returning students, nonwhite students, and students who are financing their own educations through heavy student loan borrowing: Continue Reading »