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The Classroom Still Matters

In recent years, many colleges and universities have shifted towards internet-based learning, posting everything from assignments to lectures online. The results of a randomized experiment at a major research institution (analyzed in a new paper by David N. Figlio, Mark Rush, and Lu Yin) caution against a wholesale transformation. The authors found “modest evidence that live-only instruction dominates internet instruction. These results are particularly strong for Hispanic students, male students, and lower-achieving students.” Their findings run counter to a recent meta-analysis from the U.S. Department of Education, which concluded that “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” Also gives food for thought to anyone interested in School of One’s “choose your modality” model. [%comments]