Community college students are more successful

When they take live classes.  Online courses were not associated with higher graduation rates.  The study suggests that improved course design and better trained teachers might help improve completion rates.  I doubt that these results would be any different for university students, however. From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Community-College Students Perform Worse Online Than Face to Face
Community-college students enrolled in online courses fail and drop out more often than those whose coursework is classroom-based, according to a new study released by the Community College Research Center at the Teachers College at Columbia University.

The study, which followed the enrollment history of 51,000 community-college students in Washington State between 2004 and 2009, found an eight percentage-point gap in completion rates between traditional and online courses. Although students who enrolled in online courses tended to have stronger academic preparation and come from higher income brackets than the community-college population on the whole, researchers found that students who took online classes early in their college careers were more likely to drop out than those who took only face-to-face courses. Among students who took any courses online, those with the most Web-based credits were the least likely to graduate or transfer to a four-year institution.

"Online courses are a vital piece of the postsecondary puzzle," said Shanna S. Jaggars, co-author of the study. "There are a lot of nontraditional students who would find it very difficult to attend and complete college without the flexibility they offer, but at the same time colleges need to be careful to make sure these courses aren't just thrown together and that they are effectively serving students."

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jobs said…
Community colleges serve an in important role in higher education.

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