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The survey of 2,251 professors, which, like Inside Higher Ed’s other surveys, was conducted by Gallup, finds significant skepticism among faculty members about the quality of online learning, with only one in five of them agreeing that online courses can achieve learning outcomes equivalent to those of in-person courses, and majorities considering online learning to be of lower quality than in-person courses on several key measures (but not in terms of delivering content to meet learning objectives).
But, importantly, appreciation for the quality and effectiveness of online learning grows with instructors’ experiences with it. The growing minority of professors who themselves had taught at least one course online (30 percent of respondents, up from 25 percent last year) were far likelier than their peers who had not done so to believe that online courses can produce learning outcomes at least equivalent to those of face-to-face courses; 50 percent of them agree or strongly agree that online courses in their own department or discipline produce equivalent learning outcomes to in-person courses, compared to just 13 percent of professors who have not taught online.
And while even professors who have taught online are about evenly divided on whether online courses generally can produce learning outcomes equivalent to face-to-face classes (33 percent agree, 30 percent are neutral, and 37 percent disagree), instructors with online experience are likelier than not to believe that online courses can deliver equivalent outcomes at their institutions (47 percent agree vs. 28 percent disagree), in their departments (50 percent vs. 30 percent), and in the classes they teach (56 percent vs. 29 percent).
» via Inside Higher Ed