Are students more likely to succeed if they can attend class in person or online?


A college in Philadelphia is trying a new approach to learning that it hopes will benefit students who otherwise might pass on earning a degree.

Peirce College is rolling out a plan that will let students choose whether to attend courses in-person or online on a weekly basis. They could do in-person one week, and online the next.

Stephanie Donovan, an assistant professor at the college who has overseen a pilot program, told Fusion the program decreased absenteeism from 10.2 percent to just 1.4 percent.

“That’s a strong indication of how this model will encourage persistence,” Donovan said, adding that students have told her the online option has been crucial on days when something comes up and they can’t make it to campus.

While online learning is nothing new, a mixed model that gives students flexibility on a weekly basis is relatively rare. MOOCs (massive open online courses) have been criticized for…

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