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The bad news keeps piling up for Devry University. The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC., released an in depth study last week of Devry students who took online courses through the University instead of in class instruction. The results of their in depth study are very troubling for Devry.
According to the study, taking a course online at Devry reduces student grades by 0.44 points on the traditional four-point grading scale, approximately a 0.33 standard deviation decline relative to taking a course in-person. To be more concrete, students taking the course in-person earned roughly a B- grade (2.8) on average while if they had taken it online, they would have earned a C (2.4). Additionally, taking a course online reduces a student’s GPA the following term by 0.15 points; and, when they looked only at the next term GPA for courses in the same subject area or courses for which the course in question is a pre-requisite, the study found larger drops of 0.42 points and 0.32 points respectively, providing evidence that students learned less in the online setting.
The icing on the cake? The study concluded taking a course online, instead of in person, increases the probability that a student will drop out of school. In the semester after taking an online course, students are about 9 percentage points less likely to remain enrolled. This reduction is relative to an average of 88 percent of students remaining enrolled in the following term. Moreover, taking a course online reduces the number of credits that students who do reenroll take in future semesters.