Is distance learning effective?


Science Advances magazine reported on an experiment in online learning, which involved 325 sophomores from three Russian technical universities.

Researchers at the Higher School of Economics and their American colleagues randomly divided students from the departments of mechanical engineering and construction into three groups. One group studied in the traditional way, attending an educational institution. The second used a mixed form: attending seminars in person, and the lecture part was online. The third group studied entirely remotely.

Learning outcomes were tested on three parameters: the level of mastery of the course, the score on the written exam, and student satisfaction with their own learning.

After taking the final exam, scientists compared the results of the submitted groups on selected parameters. It turned out that the level of mastery of the discipline did not differ in all three groups. Only the student satisfaction index was lower in the online group.

Researchers believe that high-quality online courses can be a full-fledged way of learning, capable of forming students the necessary competencies in the field of personal qualities, professional activities, the ability to use in practice the knowledge, skills, values, abilities, experience. The effort and understanding of a common goal on both sides, faculty and students, is important.

It is possible that the form of distance learning will, if not replace traditional education, at least expand the availability of education these days.

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