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Increasing success in higher education: The relationships of online course taking with college completion and time-to-degree

Online courses provide flexible learning opportunities, but research suggests that students may learn less and persist at lower rates compared to face-to-face settings. However, few research studies have investigated more distal effects of online education. In this study we analyzed six years of institutional data for three cohorts of students in thirteen large majors (N=10,572) at a public research university to examine distal effects of students’ online course participation. Using online course offering as an instrumental variable for online course taking, we find that online course taking of major-required courses leads to higher likelihood of successful four-year graduation and slightly accelerated time-to-degree. These results suggest that offering online course-taking opportunities may help students to more efficiently graduate college.

Keywords
Online learning, higher education, graduation rates, educational policy, educational effectiveness Education level
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/m9ra-kr67

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Fischer, Christian, Rachel Baker, Qiujie Li, Gabe Avakian Orona, and Mark Warschauer. (). Increasing success in higher education: The relationships of online course taking with college completion and time-to-degree. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-427). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/m9ra-kr67

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