Some critics of distance learning say face-to-face classes give students a better learning environment, but a recent Indiana University study found that online learners reported deeper approaches to learning than classroom-based learners.

Deep learning, researchers said, is a type of learning that goes beyond rote memorization and focuses on reflection, integrative learning, and higher-order thinking--analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which was conducted by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, collected information from nearly 380,000 randomly selected first-year and senior students at 722 four-year colleges and universities across the United States. NSSE explored the experiences of online...

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