(TRENTON) –With the goal to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of online courses compared to traditional college classes, particularly as many students take on hybrid or fully remote courses during the coronavirus pandemic, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Thomas Giblin, Daniel Benson, and Joe Danielsen passed the full Assembly on Thursday by a vote of 72-0.
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 now goes to the Senate for further consideration. The sponsors released the following statements:
Assemblyman Giblin (D-Essex, Passaic): “Online courses have become the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 receive the same quality education as they would in a traditional in-person setting.”
Assemblyman Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex): “Every student learns differently. Some can retain information just by reading a textbook. Others learn well by doing hands-on activities. Now that the pandemic has further integrated technology 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 the transition to hybrid and fully remote courses this spring was a challenge for many students. This bill will give us insight into how online classes compare to in-person learning now as we continue to respond this public health crisis and in the future.”