UGA OER study shows promise for underserved students

Pell-eligible students enrolled in courses using OER at the University of Georgia not only saw signifiant improvement in course final grades but also lower withdrawal rates.


Colvard, N., Watson, E.,  & Park, H. (2018). The impact of Open Educational Resources [OER] on various student success measures. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Ed. Vol 30, No 2.



Balancing online and on-campus course enrollments

Research shows that students enrolling in at least one online class have a greater chance of completing their academic programs.

But what is the ideal mix of online to face-to-face enrollments?

Peter Shea and Temi Bidjerano gathered data from 45,557 students from 30 community colleges that considered the number of online courses students took along with their on-campus courses. Their findings indicate that for the average full-time student, no more than 40% of their courses should be taken online. In other words, the average full-time student should take as many as two online courses and three on-campus courses during a semester. For students considered academically at-risk, the number of online courses should be fewer. Conversely, students with higher GPAs may consider taking more online.


Shea, Peter & Bidjerano, Temi. (2018). Online course completion in community college and degree completion: The tipping point.  The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning. Vol 19. No. 2.

Other resources:

Johnson, Hans & Cuellar Mejia, Marisol. (2014). Online Learning and student outcomes in community colleges. Public Policy Institute of California.


Nearly all undergrads now own a smartphone

According to the Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) smartphone ownership amongst college undergrads is nearly ubiquitous. The ECAR 2017 Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology found that 97 percent of college students now own a smartphone. The vast majority of students are connected virtually anytime / anywhere. As far as using their devices for school: 78 percent said their smartphones are “moderately important to their academic success”.

How do they use their smartphones for academics?

According to a recent article in Campus Technology 67 percent of fully-online students use their smartphones for completing at lease some of their coursework, including accessing reading content, communicating with their professors and classmates, accessing video and slide presentations, etc.


Brooks, D. Christopher & Pomerantz, Jeffrey. (2017) ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2017. Educause Center for Analysis and Research.

Schaffhauser, Dian. (2018). Two-thirds of online students do some coursework on a mobile device. Campus Technology.

Additional resources:

Anderson, Monica & Jiang, Jingjing. (2018). Teens, social media & technology 2018. Pew Research Center.






Top nine things online students value about eLearning

In a recent study Tony Bates shares what online students value about online learning.

The top nine aspects include:

  • Mobile-friendly content
  • Access to career services advising
  • Positive return on investment
  • Innovative aspects that decrease the cost and time to degree (competency-based, stackable certificates, OER)
  • Interactivity with peers
  • Multiple channels that provide information about courses and programs (both traditional and digital)
  • Flexible and personalized programming
  • Flexible and personalized delivery options (continuous enrollment, accelerated programming, flexible credit transfer)

The full article can be found here…