A new report on online learning found that the more virtual courses students take, the worse they do. The study on virtual learning effectiveness in K-12 schools, mandated by the Michigan legislature, reported that the number of students taking online courses increased in the 2013-14 school year by 38% over 2012-13.
However, the completion/pass rate fell from 60% for the 2012-13 year to 57% last year.
The research also found that while 65% of students were taking at least one online course, the completion/pass rate slipped dramatically as more courses were added to the schedule. Only 42% of students who passed three online classes and just 24% passed six online classes. At the same time, 40% of students who took six online courses were failing all of them.
“Good local policy ought to be such that they temper the number of enrollments a kid can take virtually at any given time until there’s evidence the kid is successful,” Joe Freidhof, executive director of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, told The Detroit Free Press. “It really is a different skill set, from what they’ve done traditionally to what they’re doing in an online environment. They’re going to need more support.”