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Online versus Traditional Learning: A Comparison Study of Colorado Community College Science Classes

Submitted by on November 1, 2012 – 3:17 pmNo Comment

In September 2012, the Colorado Department of Higher Education released a comparison study of CCCS students who took science courses online versus in traditional classrooms, and then tracked those students who transferred into four-year institutions in Colorado.

Students are currently given more and more options in postsecondary education be it the traditional format in the classroom, in a virtual world online, or a hybrid of the two options.  The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) offers numerous courses both in the traditional and online format. Recently in Colorado discussions regarding traditional and online courses have centered on science courses.  This study conducted by the Colorado Department of Higher Education compares students enrolled at the Colorado Community College System in traditional and online science courses. The second part of the study tracks these same students into a four year institution and compares academic performance in science courses.

The bottom line: there were no statistically significant differences in students’ science GPAs based on the community college instructional delivery method (online versus traditional).  The study suggests that students who took online science courses at the community college level perform just as well in science classes at four-year institutions as students who took traditional on-campus science classes.

Read the study here.

Read a study synopsis and more information on the WCET Blog.

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