Economic Report of the President

The Economic Report of the President cites Professor Harmon’s Research

The latest annual edition of the “Economic Report of the President” (March 2023) cites the 2016 randomized control trial of online learning outcomes co-authored by Professors Oskar Harmon, Ken Couch, and William Alpert.

Their research is discussed in the context of the feasibility of scaling remote learning.  In Chapter 5: Building Stronger Postsecondary Institutions (p179), the report notes:

Online programs. Some have suggested expanding online options to reduce geographic barriers to access, but research findings suggest caution about this approach. In some settings, such as four-year colleges, there are examples of students doing equally well across both online and in-person formats (Figlio, Rush, and Yin 2013; Bowen et al. 2014), as well as in blended learning approaches combining online and in-person components (Bowen et al. 2014; Alpert, Couch, and Harmon 2016). Other research finds, however, that courses taught through online formats often lead to worse learning outcomes than their in-person counterparts (Joyce et al. 2015; Alpert, Couch, and Harmon 2016; Krieg and Henson 2016).”

The citation for the study is:

Alpert, W., K. Couch, and O. Harmon. 2016. “A Randomized Assessment of Online Learning.” American Economic Review 106: 378–82. aer.p20161057.