Colorado Study finds “No Significant Difference” in Online Science Courses

Rhonda Epper, Assistant Provost at the Colorado Community College System and past chair of the WCET Executive Council, has a post on the WCET Learn blog about a September 2012 comparison study released by the Colorado Department of Higher  Education.  The study looked at 4,585 students who enrolled in first year Biology, Chemistry, and Physics classes for majors between 2007 and 2009.  Of those students 2,395 students took courses online and 2,190 took traditional science courses in the classroom.

Cumulative GPA, cumulative credit hours, and science-only GPA were examined for these students.  The study tracked the students within the community college system and tracked the  students who transferred to four different four-year institutions in the state (CU-Boulder, CU-Denver, CU-Colorado Springs, and Colorado State University-Fort Collins).

For CCCS, one of the key findings of this study was:

[S]tudy suggests that students who took online science courses at the community college level perform just as well in science classes at four-year institutions as students who took traditional on-campus science classe.

The full blog post has more about the study, the methodology used, and the findings.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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