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Community College–Online vs. Face-to-Face?

By Deborah Williams

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While online learning has been touted on this site and in many schools and colleges, the results of a recent study concludes that community college students tend to perform worse in online courses than fact-to-face courses. That just confirms what many of you may have thought: “That technology stuff is just not for my child! I want him to learn in a classroom!”

However, upon closer look at the article “College Students Perform Worse Online Than Face to Face – Community Colleges” on The Chronicle of Higher Education website, there are a few things that have a bearing on this finding:
1. Face-to-face completion rates were only about 8% better than in online courses overall, but they were about 11% better in remedial courses.
2. Online students usually have not had training in how to navigate their courses online.
3. Because many community college students are from lower income or disadvantaged households or are older students, many of them are not as technologically sophisticated as their counterparts in more traditional colleges.

When considering community college, avoid taking remedial courses online. Take advantage of or request training sessions for any online course, and seek opportunities to learn online before trying an online course. Working with an online tutor before college can also provide more experience learning online, and a student has a real person to guide him or her. An online tutoring website like ours is a great place to start!

Here is a short video by The Xplanation that deals with the pros and cons of online classes and traditional classes from two people, one of whom is a professor who uses both methods to teach at the University of Oklahoma:

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