Strong opinions abound on the subject of online learning in American higher education. Proponents see it as a transformative, disruptive wave of the future, whereas skeptics see it as an effort to slash costs, regardless of the impact on students.
Surely some forms of online instruction—such as posting videos of a mediocre instructor on a poorly designed website—are inferior to traditional, face-to-face instruction. But what about more sophisticated, interactive online learning systems? There is little rigorous evidence on this subject, especially at traditional public university campuses.