Infographic Category Education

Effectiveness of Online College Courses

By | source:GetaRealDegree Jan 24th, 2015

Each year, more and more college students enroll in online classes as opposed to traditional classroom-based courses. With this significant increase, many misconceptions and biases have emerged questioning the merit and efficiency of web-based university classes. Arguments claiming online college students “aren’t smart enough for a traditional education,” or “are too lazy to go to real college,” have cast a false stigma over the effectiveness and credibility of online college courses.

Not only do online classes offer students a more cost-efficient, flexible alternative to earning college credits, recent studies have found that students enrolled in online courses learn material just as efficiently, if not better, than those enrolled in traditional classes. After MIT physics professor David Pritchard conducted a study with his online MITx physics course, he found “the amount learned [online] was somewhat greater than in the traditional lecture-based course” [MIT News]. Additionally, today’s infographic shows the average online student usually falls within the 59th percentile of his peers – based off test-taking performance – as opposed to the average traditional student, who falls at the 50th.

Furthermore, the independent thinking required of online students further demonstrates the value and effectiveness of web-based courses. Online classes force students to teach and hold themselves accountable for the material covered, significantly more so than lecture-based classes. Plus, most employers want to hire candidates who exhibit confidence that they can teach themselves how to succeed in a new environment, not someone who sits in a chair and nods, and listens to whatever comes out of their mouth. For more info on the effectiveness of online college courses, check out today’s infographic.