The Chronicle boldly proclaimed today that “Online Learning May Slightly Hurt Student Performance.” How do they know this? A “study found that students who watched lectures online instead of attending in-person classes performed slightly worse in the course over all.”
That sound you hear is the collective world of EduGeeks around the world firmly planting their palm to their fore head. Online lectures are ten times as boring as the face-to-face version, so no wonder they performed so bad.
(that last statement is based on the results of my scientific study of the volume of snores originating from a few online lecture video based courses I know of)
One of the authors even had this to say: “It’s limited evidence, but I think it’s the highest-quality evidence that’s available.”
Sorry, but it is not anywhere near as good as the other evidence out there. The previous analysis of online learning by the U.S. Department of Education (that this article mentions) actually looked at many different actual forms of online learning. Not the wanna-be online learning beast called video lectures.
UPDATE: just as a note, The Chronicle did edit the original article and title to “more accurately characterize the research.” The original title is in the link above. Also, the quote from the authors above was also removed, but it was originally there.
Matt is currently an Instructional Designer II at Orbis Education and a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously he worked as a Learning Innovation Researcher with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His work focuses on learning theory, Heutagogy, and learner agency. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.