Study Questions Effectiveness of Online Science Courses for African Americans

A new study led by researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina and published in the Black History Bulletin, finds that African American students enrolled in traditional on-campus classroom courses in the sciences had greater academic success than Black students enrolled in online courses in the sciences.

lflowerLamont A. Flowers, Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and executive director of the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education at Clemson University, was the lead author of the study. Professor Flowers states that “given the dramatic shift in the way that many postsecondary institutions now offer educational programs to students, it is imperative that we examine the effects of online distance education programs on student outcomes. It is imperative that researchers continue to conduct studies that employ rigorous procedures to examine the cognitive effects and educational impact of online distance education.”

Professor Flowers recommends that “faculty should develop strategies to ensure that online courses provide similar learning gains as traditional face-to-face courses by utilizing instructional approaches and educational technologies to strengthen online distance education.”

Dr. Flowers has been on the faculty at Clemson University since 2005. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where he majored in accounting. He holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Iowa. He later added a master’s degree in industrial statistics from the University of South Carolina to his resume.

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