Study Finds Online Completion Rates Barely Lower Than On-Campus Rates

Career College Central summary:

  • A new survey shows that completion rates for on-campus courses are only slightly higher than those for online courses. The survey, Managing Online Education 2013: Practices in Ensuring Quality, was released by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), writes Joshua Bolkan of Campus Technology.
  • The survey shows that the on-campus course completion rate is 3% higher than the online course completion rate. The completion rates for on-campus courses were 5% higher when comparing completion rates only from respondents representing institutions offering both on-campus and online courses.
  • The researchers surveyed 10 completely online institutions. "hough the study’s authors did suggest that the higher completion rates at online-only institutions may point to lessons to be learned from them, they also noted that, “The finding on course completion rates were based on the data presented to us. Due to the large number of non-responses, drawing firm conclusions about these rates must be done with caution.”
  • According to the survey, 65% of respondents did not provide completion rates for on-campus courses, while 55% were unable to report completion rates for online courses. Also, more than 85% of said they had adopted standards or best practices for online courses.

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