Instructional Design and the Online Student: Do On-Line Students Learn More than Face-to-Face Students? Some Suggestive Evidence
12 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2003
Date Written: October 31, 2002
An asynchronous course in the foundations of economic analysis depends on mastery of content before students may progress to the next module. Each module is formulated with introduction, content, graded and non-graded assessment. Student success over four semesters is pronounced with little withdrawal and mostly grades of A being received. This presentation describes the instructional design, the testing environment and the degree of student and professor interaction that leads to these observed outcomes.
The author and his colleague at the University of Akron are undertaking an experiment comparing the success rates of face-to-face to online courses. Two professors are offering the same undergraduate economics course and will measure the difference in pre- and post-test scores on a standardized exam to test whether students learn more in face-to-face or online courses. The study will control for the level of prior economic literacy, previous grades and academic characteristics, attitudes towards economics and the amount of effort expected and actually spent in studying and performing in this class. Previous research has shown that students in online courses do not do significantly worse than face-to-face students, but can not perform on as high a complex plane. Our study will directly test this as well.
JEL Classification: A0, A2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation