Report Finds Students Struggling to Adapt to Online Learning

PLEASE MIND THE GAP: "Performance gaps between key demographic groups already observed in face-to-face classrooms...are exacerbated in online courses." That's one of several findings in a recent report, "Adaptability to Online Learning," that studied how well students make the switch from traditional to online learning, focusing on course retention and final grades. Based on a dataset of 498,613 courses taken by 41,227 students from 2004-2009, the researchers found that "every student subgroup showed negative coefficients for online learning in terms of both outcomes." Male students suffered a greater decline in their grades and course persistence than their female counterparts. Doug Lederman at InsideHigherEd pointed out that the study did not take into account the quality of the classes--an important caveat given that the research looked at pre-MOOC days.

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