by William G. Bowen, et al.
February 25, 2013
In the case of online learning, where millions of dollars are being invested by a wide variety of entities, we should perhaps expect that there will be inflated claims of spectacular successes. The findings in this study warn against too much hype. To the best of our knowledge, there is no compelling evidence that online learning systems available today—not even highly interactive systems, which are very few in number—can in fact deliver improved educational outcomes across the board, at scale, on campuses other than the one where the system was born, and on a sustainable basis. This is not to deny, however, that these systems have great potential. We find that such an approach need not affect learning outcomes negatively and conceivably could, in the future, improve them, as these systems become ever more sophisticated and user-friendly.