Is It Live or Is It Internet? Experimental Estimates of the Effects of Online Instruction on Student Learning

National Bureau of Economic Research


Results of a recent unprecedented experiment found that Hispanic students, male students and lower-achieving students benefit more from live instruction rather than online instruction.   These results contradict a previous analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Education that determined online lectures were generally better than live lectures.

The three professors who conducted this study recognized that online instruction could be a better financial option for universities under budgetary constraints, especially during the economic recession.  They concluded that if universities heed the Department of Education’s findings and rely more on online classes, there may be an even bigger cost awaiting educators.

The analysis included 97 students in the live instruction group and 215 students in the online instruction group.  Test scores were higher for all students in live instruction than for students in online instruction, with even higher results for Hispanic students, male students and lower-achieving students.

The authors of this paper state that more experimentation is necessary and offer several ideas for future research that could strengthen and expand the understanding of this topic.

Available for $5, 28 pages.


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)



Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top