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What is Online Learning
How Effective is Online Learning?

The resources on this page will direct you to reports and articles about a variety of topics related to online learning. From guidelines for quality courses to information on using online learning for credit recovery and at risk students, the information found on these sites will help you gain a deeper understanding of the value of online learning.

Online learning has continuously grown in popularity since it began. Much research has been done about online learning and the results have been very favorable. Yet, there are still people who believe that online learning is less effective and rigorous than traditioinal face to face instruction.

Myths About Virtual Learning
Don't beleive everything you might hear about online learning or virtual schools. There are a lot of ideas out there that bear closer inspection. Much of the misinformation may come from the lack of understanding about what online learning really is. Many people think that it is just textbooks and pictures, digitized and put on the internet. But it is not. Many people think that it is a computer that will do the teaching and the goal is to replace our quality teachers with devices. But that is not true. Learning online is different thaat leanring in the face to face classroom, to be sure. It requires quality content and activities that students can do online. Teachers are needed to facilitate the lerning, provide encouragement and feedback, and help students through the difficult times. So it is not all that different from face to face learning.

Explore the Top Ten Myths About Virtual Schools (pdf) from the International Assoociation for K-12 for Online Learning (iNACOL). The article discusses the current myths about online schools. NACOL also published Fast Facts About Online Learning (pdf) from October 2013, which provides research, trends, and statistics that support the expanding options for online learning.

Watch the video The Anytime, Anywhere: Online Learning Shapes the Future on You Tube to explore some of the benefits of online learning.


For some ideas about open online learning, watch the video The Brave New World of Online Learning: Amy Collier at TEDxStanford on You Tube.

Articles About Online Learning
Do Online Courses Work for Middle Grades and High School Students? Online Students Have Their Say Southern Regional Education Board, December 2008
Reports the results of a 2000 student survey at the end of the 2007-2008 school year. Good information for parents, administrators, and students alike.

Connecting Students to Advanced Courses Online US Department of Education, December 2007
Connecting Students to Advanced Courses Online highlights six providers of academic coursework by delivering advanced online courses to students through technology. The primary audience is district and school decision-makers who are looking for ways to give their students greater access to advanced course work and see online courses as an enticing option.

Sorting Through Online Learning Options: A Guide for Parents International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), 2009
A guide for students, parents, and educators helps them sort through the myriad of online learning options available.

The 4 Keys to a Successful Online School
The THE Journal article provides the four keys to a successful online school.

Sloan Consortium Survey Reports
The Sloan Consortium

The consortium is a collaboration of institutions and organizations committed to quality online education.

K-12 Online Learning: A Survey of U.S. School District Administrators
The research literature on online learning has grown significantly in the past decade. Many studies have been published that examine the extent, nature, policies, learning outcomes, and other issues associated with online instruction. This is one of the first studies to collect data on and to compare fully online and blended learning in K-12 schools.

K-12 Online Learning: A 2008 Follow-Up of the Survey of U.S. School District Administrators
In 2007, the Sloan Consortium issued a report on the extent and nature of online learning in K-12 schools. It was based on a national survey of school district administrators during the 2005-2006 academic year. The purpose of this current study was to replicate the original study in order to substantiate its findings and to examine what if any changes occurred in online learning in K-12 school districts.

iNACOL Online and Blended Learning Reports
The International Association for K-12 Online Learning offers a wide variety of reports about online and blended learning.

Guide to Teaching Online Courses
National Education Association, November 2006

A guide for policymakers, administrators, educators, and others engaged in selecting, hiring, and training teachers that will provide quality instruction online. 

Report on State Virtual Schools
Currently, 11 of the 16 SREB member states have online K-12 schools operated by the state. Others either provide resources for students and parents to find high quality online learning opportunities or no longer provide a state-level online school. These online schools offer courses that students may not otherwise have in their schools, and can help students make up credits and continue toward graduation.

Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: A Review of State Level Policy and Practice
November 2007

Online Education policy information.

Seven Principles of Effective Teaching: A Practical Lens for Evaluating Online Courses
The Technology Source, April 2001

The Effectiveness of Online and Blended Learning: A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature
A report by Teachers College, Columbia University, about the increased capabilities of web-based applications and collaboration technologies and the rise of blended learning models combining web-based and face-to-face classroom instruction.

Blended Learning Is Better than Instructor-led or Online Learning Alone
The accumulation of many research studies that compared learning in an instructor-led class to some form of electronic distance learning was the basis for a 2004 meta-analysis report from Bernard and colleagues. The team prepared the histogram of effect sizes shown below based on 318 different media comparison research studies.

"Blended Learning" More Effective than Face-to-Face
A report released by the US Department of Education, analyzed 46 studies comparing online learning to face-to-face education, concluded that "blended learning," or programs that include elements of both face-to-face and online learning, is somewhat more effective than either approach by itself. The study also found that, by itself, online learning was more effective at raising student achievement than face-to-face instruction exclusively.


about online learning

7 Myths and Facts about Online Learning from MyEducation.com



Finding Quality Online Programs

The report,Online Degree Programs: How to Tell the Good From the Bad, from US News & World Report discusses ways in which students can assure that they enroll in a reputable online institution.

How to Find the Right Online Continuing Education School Program from WikiHow provides some guidance when selecting an online institution.

About Online Diploma Mills

The US Department of Education has information on its website about Online Diploma Mills and Accreditation. Please take a few minutes to review this information and check out your online school thoroughly before applying. The U.S. Department of Education has published the "positive list" of schools that are accredited by accrediting agencies recognized by the Secretary of Education. This is a list of postsecondary institutions and programs that have chosen to be accredited by accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.


online learning resources for new hampshire
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Online Schools

Schools in or near New Hampshire
New Hampshire students have many options for online learning. Some of the schools used by NH students include:

Schools in Other States
Many states have established virtual schools. You can easily visit the websites of schools in several states. Learn more. Here are a few examples:



Online Tutoring
We have some basic information on several online providers of tutoring for K-12 students.

Other Programs
Don’t see what you need? Try searching for online education programs from the Degree Search database. This is a site to aid in searches for online degree programs from trusted schools.

Learn whether online or face to face classes might be better for you by reviewing "Is Online Learning Right for You?" from Distance Learning Today (January 2007), or "Is Distance Learning Right for You?" from About.com.

Want some tips or information on planning for the future, visit NH Next, your guide to life after high school.



Free Courses

Online Open Courseware
Many institutions have posted their online courses on the web. Open courses can be viewed free of charge.

  • MIT Open Courseware
    This was one of the first higher education efforts designed to university course materials for free to the public.
  • iTunes U and Mobil Learning
    Apple recently partnered with several states to offer online content through their iTunes content portal.
  • Open Courseware Consortium
    The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.



Last updated January 22, 2020

Online Learning in NH is supported by NHEON.org and the Office of Educational Technology at the New Hampshire Department of Education.