reviewing over a thousand empirical studies of online
learning, a report prepared for the US Department of
Education found that students in online learning conditions
- especially at the college level - performed better
than those receiving face-to-face instruction.
learning - for students and for teachers - is one of the
fastest growing trends in educational uses of technology.
Although earlier studies based on older technologies
concluded there was not much difference between distance
learning and regular classroom learning, the multi-media and
Web-based applications now available significantly improve
the learning environment and outcomes.
concluded that, especially among the older learners at the
college undergraduate, graduate and professional studies
levels, "Students who took all or part of their class online
performed better, on average, than those taking the same
course through traditional, face-to-face instruction."
good news for distance learning adult students, most of the
time working full-time jobs, who do not have the luxury of
being able to regularly attend on-campus classes.
And, it is
good news for employers who are considering whether the
formal education earned by prospective employees is
sufficient if it was obtained through a reputable distance
learning program. It is not only sufficient, but, as the US
Department of Education report concludes, it is also
A copy of
the complete report is available by selecting the link to
the left, and is also available directly from the US
Department of Education by pasting the following link into
the URL address line of your browser: