Education: In Class or Online

Monday, September 5, 2011

There have been a lot of researchers tending to this topic in recent history. It’s a valid question for the average student today who is trying to fit their education in with their current lifestyle.

The array of degrees available to seek online now can range from your average Liberal Arts degree, to Military higher learning and even medical training.

An article researched by the New York Times ( found that, on average, students doing some or all of the course(s) online would rank in the 59th percentile in tested performance, compared with the average classroom student scoring in the 50th percentile.

This analysis was hosted by The Department of Education. Now, anyone who has taken a statistics class already knows to account for the fact that they could not quantify the scope of all people seeking education. The study did use ninety-nine cases where there was a direct comparison to online and in class studies for the same courses. This is a fairly sound quantity to utilize for a case study.

Based solely on this, the recommendation would be; go to school online, or mostly online if you can.

I feel that this would need more research before a decision/recommendation would be made. I would appreciate a set of statistics that showed what type of person was excelling in the different formats.

If you are not self-motivated, I cannot see how you would be able to maintain accountability for your education. The reverse side of that coin, if you feel that the classroom is your only resource for networking with other students. You may not know to look into course descriptions to see if they offer Skype classes; you may be missing something that is a better fit for your scheduling needs.

Also, within this information I would like to see the attendance levels of the ninety-nine courses. Are we working with a curve? Was the in class participation thirty average students and the online class 10 exceptionally high achievers.

I think the decision needs to come to the individual level. What are your thoughts?

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