Confidence in the value of online learning has been growing at Georgia Tech. The introduction of the Canvas learning management system and the associated support it has been given have allowed more and more faculty to come to appreciate the value of using technology to support their instruction. Still, doubts remain among some faculty that online learning programs have value beyond merely being more convenient for students and instructors. The Summer Online Undergraduate Program (SOUP), administered by Georgia Tech Professional Education, serves as a prime example of the benefit that Georgia Tech can gain from online learning. Designed as a way to allow students who are not necessarily near Atlanta to still take summer courses, SOUP has provided opportunities for summer learning to over 2,600 students since 2013. However, the question has arisen as to what value – beyond flexibility – SOUP provides to the Georgia Tech community. The following analysis provides evidence that students who participated in SOUP in the summers from 2013 through 2018 completed their four-year degrees sooner than students who did not participate in SOUP but still took summer courses.
Lead Researcher: Rob Kadel, Assistant Director for Research in Education Innovation (2019)