Shanna Smith-Jaggars

Instructional-Design-Live #25 Is Online Learning Better?

Community College Research Center

This week on IDLive, Shanna Smith-Jaggars discusses her response to the US Dept. of Education's report on online learning. Widely cited as proof that online learning is better, the DOE study fails to address some of the broader implications of online learning. Dr. Jaggars addresses these issues and many more--a must listen.

In May 2009, the US Department of Education issued a meta-analysis and review of online learning studies that compared face-to-face, blended and online delivery modes, and found that: On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” Despite the caveats identified in the research, the conclusion, for some, was still: Online learning is better!ShannaShanna Smith-Jaggars, Senior Research Associate at the Community Colleges Research Center challenges this assertion in her response to the meta-analysis  (July 2010). Jaggars more fully explores the comparison of online and face-to-face instruction and finds only 7 studies out of 51 can be used to shed light on this question. Of these 7, Jaggars concludes that there is no significant difference between learning outcome achievement in face-to-face or online courses for certain student populations. Sound familiar? Time to channel our energies into more rewarding directions, perhaps.. As Jaggars puts it in this interesting interview, “what we really need to be doing is spending more time and effort in trying to figure out what are the most effective instructional practices in both modalities”

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