Online learning has taken a big hit over the past few years as online platforms like Google and Facebook have become more popular and popular schools are closing their doors.
But while the internet has been a boon for schools, the problem is not going away anytime soon.
In fact, it’s likely to get worse.
In the next few years, we may see more online learning go the way of the dodo and the internet is not an indicator of this.
According to a new study by the University of Pennsylvania, online learning is going to become more prevalent and the effects will be felt not just by teachers but students.
The study, titled “The Future of Online Learning?” was published in the journal Educational Management and Policy.
The researchers analyzed data from the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics to determine the impact of online education on student achievement and educational outcomes.
They found that in the years between 2012 and 2018, the percentage of students in the U.S. who graduated from high school with a college degree increased by more than 60 percent.
While the numbers may be small, the results are a sign that online education is taking off.
However, these trends don’t mean that online learning will always be a success.
“The trend in online learning has been quite a bit positive,” says Andrew Schaeffer, an associate professor of education at Pennsylvania State University and one of the study’s authors.
“But the impact may be going a bit further than that, in terms of students and learning outcomes.”
The study found that students who completed a high school course online saw their scores increase by 4.2 points.
But those students who attended a college course online scored a measly 3.8 points.
“In the future, we should be looking at online learning as more of a catalyst to increase learning and achievement,” Schaeff says.
“We’re starting to see that online is a big part of the equation for many students, but it’s not the whole story.”
There are several reasons why students may choose to enroll in online courses instead of attending a traditional high school.
First, online education has been embraced by students.
“Students are getting the most bang for their buck in terms, which is not necessarily the case for high school,” Schadeff says, adding that students are increasingly turning to online learning because it is free.
“Students are choosing online because it’s free, and if it’s cheaper, it makes sense,” he adds.
Students also have more flexibility.
“Online learning is less about the curriculum and more about the learning environment,” Schauff says: They’re able to choose to complete online courses online, which can be much easier and less expensive than attending a classroom setting.
The third reason that students choose online courses is convenience.
Online learning is often more convenient than traditional high schools, Schaefer says, which means that students may not be spending as much time in class.
But he cautions that students should also consider that the quality of online learning varies widely from school to school.
“I would strongly suggest that students look at online education, and see if they would benefit from doing so,” he says.