A comparison of academic achievement and course activity factors among online and onsite learners in higher education
James L. Antilla, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
This study examined the relationship between each of six course activity factors and students' grades in online and onsite courses taught at a community college in spring, 2003. The six activity factors matched six of the “seven principles” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987) of good practice in undergraduate education. The hypothesis, “There is a positive correlation between the levels of six activity factors in any course and the achievement of students in that course,” was rejected. Some of the survey questions also gathered data on student satisfaction. Student outcomes, student attitudes, and student satisfaction can all be used to measure effectiveness of courses. Student satisfaction data were then correlated to the six activity factors. A new hypothesis, “There is a positive correlation between the levels of six activity factors in any course and student satisfaction with that course,” was accepted.
In addition, online courses were compared to onsite courses. There was no significant difference in overall performance as measured by grades. In one case, a sociology course, the online students outperformed the onsite students. More research and a more comprehensive tool are needed to assess student learning and determine the quality of both online and onsite courses.
Antilla, J.L. A comparison of academic achievement and course activity factors among online and onsite learners in higher education. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
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