Facing the Bias against Online Education


More than 6 million students, or one-third of all students in higher education, are taking at least one online course, according to a study by the Babson Survey Research Group. The study states that the rate of growth in online enrollment is ten times that of the rate in all higher education.Despite this tremendous surge in online learning in the last decade, there can still be stigmas attached to the quality of online programs. There’s a perception that online is synonymous with lower-quality. While poor quality online programs certainly do exist, not all online programs deserve this scarlet letter.

According to a recent study by Lindsay Redpath in the Academy of Learning and Education, a substantial body of research indicates that there is no significant difference in learning outcomes for students learning online compared to traditional classroom learners.

Redpath states that, “Success is rooted in pedagogy, more than in technology or mode of delivery. While there are differences in the way that communication, interaction, and instruction occur in online and classroom delivery, learning outcomes are not necessarily more or less effective in one mode or another.”

The definition of a quality, post-secondary experience can now be reframed, as academic institutions have more opportunities to innovate than ever before, with the coming of age of online learning.

As with anything, when selecting a post-secondary institution or program, doing your research is key. Is the school accredited? Do credits transfer to other institutions with ease? How is online education versus classroom education viewed within your specific industry or field of study? What is your learning style? How will the specific program meet your individualized needs?

It’s better to give thoughtful consideration and weigh all the options before jumping into a program haphazardly. But the wonderful thing is that there are more options now than ever before.

6 thoughts on “Facing the Bias against Online Education”

  1. I like online classes. But, are the online courses superior to the face-to-face courses? Why is the same course (e.g. EDRM 600) more expensive online vs on campus at CSU?

    1. Hi Wrongdog,

      Great questions! I’m an employee at CSU OnlinePlus and would be happy to answer your questions.

      As far as online courses being superior to face-to-face courses, I think that depends on the school you’re considering. CSU OnlinePlus programs are taught by expert faculty and feature the same curriculum as our on-campus counterparts. So, no, to answer your question, neither is superior to the other. It’s more a question of what works for you logistically.

      When it comes to costs, there are several things to consider. The prices you see per credit listed online have different parts calculated into them making it seem as though the cost is quite different. In reality, the cost of EDRM 600 online is very close to what you would pay to take it on-campus. The on-campus course cost doesn’t include the student fees you will pay on-campus and online courses don’t take residency into account because you pay the same rate regardless of location.

      Let me know if you need more information and thank you so much for the input!

  2. The logistics of an online course almost always work better for me, but I’m already a full-time student on campus at CSU, have already paid the fees, and am simply looking to add a three credit course. In this case, the online version is approximately ≥$1600 to add to my schedule compared with ≤$1000 for the on-campus course. What am I missing? Is there another way for current students to register for online classes that accounts for their status on campus? I’m asking on behalf of myself and several others in similar situations.

    1. AmyJoMillerCSUOnlinePlus


      Thanks so much for the question! You’re right – there are various elements of pricing that are different between campus and online program tuition and fees. Since you mentioned that you were asking on behalf of yourself and several other students, rather than try to provide you with a generic answer here based on hopefully interpreting your situation correctly, especially since exact amounts would be different depending on each program, I’d like to have you call our students services representative that handles these kinds of things. You can reach Marti Demarest at 970-492-4720. She’ll be expecting your call, and will be able to really dig into your specific situation and give you a completely personalized answer that can help you more.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top