Critics of online learning claim that students are exposed to an inferior education when compared to traditional in-class instruction, but a recent study from Ithaka S+R, a strategic consulting and research nonprofit, questions this notion, U.S. News reports. The report, “Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials,” notes that students who utilize interactive online learning–or hybrid learning–produce equivalent, or better, results than students participating in face-to-face education. Monitoring 605 college students taking the same introductory statistics course at six public universities–including the University at Albany–SUNY, SUNY Institute of Technology–Utica/Rome, the University of Maryland–Baltimore County, Towson University, CUNY–Baruch College, and CUNY–City College–during fall 2011, researchers split the students into two groups. One group completed the course in a traditional format, while the second group completed an online component complemented with an hour of in-class instruction each week. Students were asked to complete a series of tests before and after the course, and researchers found that “hybrid-format students did perform slightly better than traditional format students” on outcomes including final exam scores and overall course pass rates, according to the report…

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