• AEA in the news
  • January 22, 2018

The New York Times features AER article on virtual learning

Virtual learning can have significant drawbacks, particularly for underprepared students.


The New York Times cited a September 2017 American Economic Review paper in an article about the harmful effects of online learning. The study, which the AEA featured in a research highlight last fall, describes the impact of virtual courses on college student outcomes. Authors Eric Bettinger, Lindsay Fox, Susanna Loeb, and Eric Taylor find that, relative to students in identical in-person courses, students in online courses have lower grades, learn less, and are more likely to drop out of college. Underprepared students experience especially poor outcomes.