The Boston Globe recently profiled the increase of hybrid programs in colleges and universities that blend online and traditional learning. According to Globe Correspondent Joan Axelrod-Contrada, in order to balance the demands of work, family, and finances,
Enhanced technology learning tools hold great potential for improving basic learning outcomes including mastery of course content, completion rates, and time-to-degree. A recent study by Ithaka S+R concluded that hybrid courses using computer-based instruction in concert with face-to-face instruction showed comparable learning outcomes to traditional classroom-based instruction alone.
About the Methodology
Ithaka S+R arranged for six different public institutions to teach the same introductory statistics course to 605 students. In each, a control group was enrolled in a traditional classroom-based course, while a test group took a hybrid course using computer-based instruction in concert with one face-to-face meeting each week. Students were selected randomly for the two different groups.
Ithaka S+R concluded that the results of this study are “remarkable; they show comparable learning outcomes for this basic course, with a promise of cost savings and productivity gains.”
Cost Savings and Productivity Over Time
The Ithaka S+R study found that students in hybrid format courses spend approximately 25% less time on course work each week compared to students in traditional courses, and the same learning outcome could be achieved in less time. “Crude cost estimation models” suggest that delivering more instruction online could save between 19% and 57% of costs, with the exact number varying by the specific implementation of the course format.
Notably, the study also showed that technology learning solutions can increase student output and potential enrollment while keeping faculty numbers and space needs the same. If successful, the result will be higher productivity of teaching and learning.
Improving Learning Outcomes with Navigate™ from Jones & Bartlett Learning
Using enhanced technology tools to support the growing trend in online learning has the potential to increase student outcomes while improving retention.
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