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Research Report
March 21, 2013

Current Status of Research on Online Learning in Postsecondary Education

As online courses continue to gain in popularity at colleges and universities throughout the country, knowledge about the effectiveness of this mode of instruction, relative to that of traditional, face-to-face courses, becomes increasingly important. A 2009 report by the U.S. Department of Education provides a meta-analysis of studies published up to 2008, examining the relative effectiveness of the different delivery formats in helping various populations of students learn different types of course content. This Ithaka S+R literature review complements that…
Research Report
May 22, 2012

Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities

Evidence from Randomized Trials

Online learning is quickly gaining in importance in U.S. higher education, but little rigorous evidence exists as to its effect on student learning outcomes. In "Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials," we measure the effect on learning outcomes of a prototypical interactive learning online (ILO) statistics course by randomly assigning students on six public university campuses to take the course in a hybrid format (with machine-guided instruction accompanied by one hour of face-to-face instruction each week)…
Research Report
May 1, 2012

Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education

This Ithaka S+R report is a landscape review of important developments in online learning today. It is the first in a series that will provide leaders in higher education with lessons learned from existing online learning efforts to help accelerate productive use of these systems in the future. The goal of this research was to understand what benefits colleges and universities expect from online learning technologies, what barriers they face in implementing them, and how these technologies might be best…