Re "Senate bill could help ensure high-quality online education" (Editorials, March 20): Your editorial suggests that Senate Bill 520 institutes processes ensuring that online courses increase accessibility and student success. However, best practices for student success are difficult to identify and implement in any educational setting.
Currently, online and conventional classes are being taught side by side in many institutions. Why don't we see an analysis of available data comparing the two approaches in terms of student demographics, repeat rates, teaching methods used, success of students in later courses? Is there any evidence that online education will be more effective in promoting students' abilities to think critically, learn concepts, and communicate their own ideas? What if it costs more to identify effective online teaching methods and to establish a reliable infrastructure than to support conventional classes?
Ensuring high-quality, online education requires much more than noting the inclusion of student-faculty interaction and proctored examinations, and having a system of monitoring completion rates.
-- Melanie Loo, Sacramento