With the goal to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of online courses compared to traditional college classes, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Thomas Giblin, Daniel Benson, and Joseph Danielsen was advanced by the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Monday.
The bill (A-876) would direct the Secretary of Higher Education to conduct a study to examine the prevalence, cost and quality of online courses offered by institutions of higher education.
The measure’s sponsors released the following statements:
Assemblyman Giblin (D-Essex, Passaic): “Online courses are a convenient option for students with difficult schedules. However, not all online classes are created equal. This study will help us see the benefits and drawbacks of online learning, and make changes to ensure students are not sacrificing quality for convenience.”
Assemblyman Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex): “Every student learns differently. Some people can retain information just by reading a textbook. Others learn well by doing hands-on activities. That’s why an online learning environment may be right for some students, and not others. As technology becomes more and more integrated into the college experience, it’s important that we examine how students are impacted by online learning.”
Assemblyman Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset): “With the costs of college going up, the last thing we want is to see the quality of classes go down. Online courses are a relatively new concept, so we do not yet know their effectiveness. This bill will give us insight into how online classes compare to a traditional classroom setting.”