Online education has been rapidly growing over the last few years. Many schools and colleges have been improving their online courses for students to take. Although the scores and outcomes of many students have been shown to be lower through online school than in-person classes, the curriculum for online programs and education is continuously improving. The improvement of online classes also helps those not in access to such education. There are many populations that are not able educational opportunities either due to their location or their economy. Presently, the online courses are similar to those of taking classes with professors and meeting them through screens. This leads to significantly worse grades and outcomes; however, the future holds better technology that will help each student to receive the instruction and knowledge they must obtain. Colleges and schools are increasing their online courses, with one out of three college students taking at least one online course, and this number continues to rise. There has not been much proof of how online education affects students’ careers in college and after. A study shows data from those of DeVry University students. It shows that on average, these students take two thirds of their required courses through online courses. Each course is available in-person and online at DeVry, and the student must choose which they prefer. The in-person and online courses are identical in professors, textbooks, syllabus, class size, tests, quizzes, assignments; however, the difference in these two is the communication and interactions you would normally experience in a normal face-to-face class. Contacting the teacher is harder, and the student learns through videos provided by the professor rather than a lecture. Data of students’ grades show that taking an online course results in the students’ grade dropping by relatively 0.44 points on a 4 point grading scale. In other words, a student who chose to take an online course would receive approximately 0.44 points higher according to the research. Other effects that online courses are shown to have include the increase in students dropping out, an increase in students who do not remain enrolled, and a reduction in the number of credits that students choose to take in their following term. After seeing many of the results, current online courses definitely are shown to result in lower GPAs and negative outcomes. Many of these negative effects are much more shown in students who already had low GPAs. Although current online courses are not the best alternatives for in-person classes, they should not be disregarded, since technology is bound to improve and allow virtual classes to better help those in need of online classes and courses.
NATHAN HYUN BIN LEE