Action Lab new research: Efficacy of online learning and ROI for institutions seeking to scale digital courses

ASU’s Digital Teaching and Learning Action Lab at EdPlus (Action Lab) has just unveiled its Digital Learning Efficacy Study that compares the performance of ASU Online digital immersion undergraduate students to traditional on-campus students at ASU. The study looked at outcome variables including completion, passing and mastery. 

The study addressed three research questions: What is the difference, or gap in student performance between ASU Online and campus immersion delivery modalities? Does the size of the online gap differ across key demographic dimensions such as gender and ethnicity?  Within the online modality, can learning analytics be used to facilitate continuous improvement and innovation in digital course design?

The Action Lab concluded that digital immersion undergraduate education can achieve student learning outcomes that are comparable to campus immersion programs and that the student performance gap has been closed for completion, is very small for passing and is indistinguishable for mastery.

A second just-released study from the Action Lab called “Making Digital Learning Work: Success Strategies From Six Leading Universities and Community Colleges” examined the return on investment for higher education institutions looking to implement high quality digital learning practices so they can achieve impact at a larger scale. 

The study concluded that when institutions take a strategic approach to digital learning and invest in the design and development of high quality courses, they can achieve three critical objectives.  These include: higher retention and graduation rates and quicker matriculation for students who took at least some portion of their degree program online; increases in the total volume of student enrollment; and increases in the proportion of specific populations including Pell-Grant-eligible students, older students and female students.  To learn more, reach out to Lou Pugliese