- Increased numbers of students for online courses don’t affect grades, the persistence of students in a particular course, or the likelihood of a student enrolling in a future course, according to a study by a Stanford University research team.
- The study examined courses that are typical for many colleges and universities, not massive open online courses, Inside Higher Ed reported.
- Based on the results of the study, colleges and universities could lower their costs by making the online courses or sections of courses larger while cutting back on instructors for those sections.
As Inside Higher Ed points out, the study’s findings seem to contradict conventional wisdom and other studies that show that smaller classes provide a greater benefit for students. The study looked at online course sections from DeVry University, which doesn’t announce what instructors will teach which course sections, so enrollment bias toward more popular instructors was removed. The study looked at outcomes for 100,000 students in 4,000 sections of 102 graduate and undergraduate courses.