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High Academic Achievement in a Virtual and Hybrid Setting

High Academic Achievement in a Virtual and Hybrid Setting

In our previous blog post in this series, we explored how virtual and hybrid learning models produce successful academic outcomes for high-achieving, collegebound students. With these key components in place, the question remains: Does research confirm that virtual learning produces successful results for these students? The answer lies in the data.

In July 2021, Edmentum’s Research and Learning Engineering team released an EdOptions Academy study in collaboration with Edmentum partner Total Package Hockey Center of Excellence (TPH), a program that provides individualized academic, hockey, and general athletic development to hundreds of high-achieving student-athletes at 12 different locations nationwide. The study examined student outcomes from 9,147 courses across 10 different states taken by TPH students from 2017 through 2021.

Dominating SAT and ACT Average Scores

Analysis of course data, as well as summative assessments like the SAT and ACT test scores, demonstrates that students consistently performed at high academic levels across all school years from 2017–2021 and all course subjects. The SAT and ACT exams are long-established measures of student readiness for college and are used in state accountability systems across the country. TPH student-athletes taking the SAT exam throughout 2017–21 had an average score of 1,280, which is 212 points higher than the national average. During the same period, TPH students taking the ACT test earned an average score of 25, which is 4 points higher than the national average.

High Academic Achievement in a Virtual and Hybrid Setting

High Academic Achievement in a Virtual and Hybrid Setting

Exceeding Rigorous Course Completion and Grade Expectations

There is a consistent strand of educational research indicating that students who complete rigorous coursework in high school are better positioned for initial academic success in college. TPH student-athletes not only take rigorous high school and advanced courses, but they also complete those courses at an overall average rate of 95.4 percent. Research from the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) found that high school grade point average (HSGPA) is consistently the strongest predictor of four-year college outcomes for all academic disciplines. Additionally, the higher students’ high school GPA, the higher their first-semester college GPA. The TPH and EdOptions study analyzed course grades for all student-athletes from 2017–21 and found that the average grade in core academic courses was 90.5 percent.

In addition to looking at overall course completion and grade, this study also included a deep analysis of student performance data on all core courses and found that the median final grade for all courses in each subject area is greater than 90 percent, and the majority of the distribution is in the 90–100 percent range. The following figure shows the subject-grade distribution for each core subject.

High Academic Achievement in a Virtual and Hybrid Setting

With ongoing COVID-related challenges and a nation of students and educators still figuring out social distancing, masks, and remote learning, it’s perhaps more important than ever for educators to look to sustainable virtual and hybrid learning models that engage and motivate students and produce successful academic outcomes.

If you haven't already, check out our previous blog post in this series, 5 Research-Based Components of a Successful Virtual Learning Program. To learn more about achieving high academic outcomes in a virtual or hybrid learning environment, access the EdOptions Academy full study or study brief.

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Dave Adams

Dave Adams is Chief Academic Officer at Edmentum.  Dave started with Edmentum in 1994 as part of PLATO Learning’s acquisition of Lightspan.  Throughout his tenure Dave has led content development including development of Edmentum’s online courses solution; development of the assessment products; and the ongoing innovation of online curriculum.  Establishing an evaluation and efficacy program to measure the effectiveness of educational solutions, Edmentum can now measure the impact on student learning. Dave has also led Professional Services, Training and Implementation solutions and most recently runs Edmentum’s virtual school, EdOptions Academy.