A Comparison of Student Achievement and Satisfaction in an Online Versus a Traditional Face-to-Face Statistics Class

Abstract

In this study we examined differences between online distance education and traditional classroom learning for an introductory undergraduate statistics course. Two outcome dimensions were measured: students’ final grades and student satisfaction with the course. Using independent samples t-tests, results indicated that there was no significant difference in grades between the online and traditional classroom contexts. However, students enrolled in the online course were significantly less satisfied with the course than the traditional classroom students on several dimensions. This finding is inconsistent with the “no significant difference phenomenon,” described in Russell’s (1999) annotated bibliography, which supports minimal outcome differences between online courses and face-to-face courses.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Aberson, C. L., Berger, D. E., Healy, M. R., & Romero, V. L. (2001). Teaching statistics with web technology: The WISE project. Syllabus, 14, 43–45.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bell, B., & Kaplan, D. E. (1999). CourseMaster: Modeling a pedagogy for on-line distance instruction. Proceedings of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. Seattle, Washington. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED446730).

  3. Bennett, G., & Green, F. P. (2001). Student learning in the online environment: No significant difference? Quest, 53, 1–13.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bessant, K. C. (1992). Instructional design and the development of statistical literacy. Teaching Sociology, 20, 143–149.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Browning, J. (1999). Analysis of concepts and skills acquisition differences between web-delivered and classroom-delivered undergraduate instructional technology courses. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60, 2456A. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ADG 9938354).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Butik, N. (1998). Michigan teachers and the World Wide Web, “Will the World Wide Web change my classroom?” Masters Abstracts International, 37, 1077. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ADG 1393498).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Cennamo, K. S., & Ross, J. D. (2000, April). Strategies to support self-directed learning in a Web-based course. Paper presented a the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED455194).

  8. Cennamo, K. S., Ross, J. D., & Rogers, C. S. (2002). Evolution of a Web-enhanced course: Incorporating strategies for self-regulation. Educause Quarterly, 25, 28-33.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Chickering, A. W., & Ehrmann, S. C. (1996). Implementing the seven principles. AAHE Bulletin, 49(2), 2–4.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Collis, B., Oberg, A., & Shera, W. (1988). An evaluation of computer-based instruction in statistical techniques for education and social work students. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 17, 59–71.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Cyrs, T. E. (1997). Competence in teaching at a distance. In T. E. Cyrs (Ed.), Teaching and learning at a distance: What it takes to effectively design, deliver, and evaluate programs: Vol. 71. New directions for teaching and learning (pp. 15–18). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Dabbagh, N. H. (2000). The challenges of interfacing between face-to-face and online instruction. TechTrends, 44, 37–42.

    Google Scholar 

  13. de Boer, W., & Collis, B. (2002). A changing pedagogy in e-learning: From acquisition to contribution. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 13, 87–101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Dereshiwsky, M. I. (1998, April). “Go figure”: The surprising success of teaching statistics courses via Internet. Paper contributed to the Teaching in the Community Colleges Online Conference, “Online Instruction: Trends and Issues II.” (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED449975).

  15. Dunn, D. S. (2001, August). Two heads are better than one: Learning statistics in common. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED458272).

  16. Firdyiwek, Y. (1999). Web-based courseware tools: Where is the pedagogy? Educational Technology, 39, 29–34.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Fullerton, J. A., & Umphrey, D. (2001, March). An analysis of attitudes toward statistics: Gender differences among advertising majors. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED456479).

  18. Gallagher, P., & McCormick, K. (1999). Student satisfaction with two-way interactive distance learning for delivery of early childhood special education coursework. Journal of Special Educational Technology, 14, 32–47.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Gillespie, F. (1998). Instructional design for the new technologies. In K. H. Gillespie (Ed.), The impact of technology on faculty development, life, and-work (pp. 39–52): Vol. 76. New directions for teaching and learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Gordon, S. (1999, April). An instrument for exploring students’ approaches to learning statistics. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (ERIC Document Reproductive Service No. ED440142).

  21. Hadley, N. (1998). The effects of technology support systems on achievement and attitudes on pre-service teachers. Dissertation Abstracts International, 59, 4044A. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ADG 9914276).

    Google Scholar 

  22. Knowlton, D. S. (2000). A theoretical framework for the online classroom: A defense and delineation of a student-centered pedagogy. In R. E. Weiss (Ed.), Principles of effective teaching in the online classpetom: Vol. 84. New directions for teaching and learning (pp. 5–14). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Mclsaac, M., Blocher, J., Mahes, V., & Vrasidas, C. (1999). Student and teacher perceptions of interaction in online computer-mediated communication. Educational Media International, 36, 121–131.

    Google Scholar 

  24. McMahon, M., & Oliver, R. (2001, June). Promoting self-regulated learning in an on-line environment. Proceedings from the ED-Media World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Tampere, Finland. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED466194).

  25. McMillan, J. H. (2001, April). Some pedagogical tips for teaching statistics. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle, WA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED453251).

  26. Morelos-Borja, H. (1999). Partner-finder: A framework to study peer collaborations in a web-based education. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60, 3373B. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ADG 9939122).

    Google Scholar 

  27. O’Hanlon, N. (2001). Development, delivery, and outcomes of a distance course for new college students. Library Trends, 50, 8–27.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Oathout, M. J. (1995, April). College students’ theory of learning introductory statistics: Phase one. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED391841).

  29. Paulsen, K., Higgins, K., Miller, S., Strawser, S., & Boone, R. (1998). Delivering instruction via interactive television and videotape: Student achievement and satisfaction. Journal of Special Education Technology, 13, 59–77.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Phipps, R., & Merisotis, J. (1999). What’s the difference: A review of contemporary research on the effectiveness of distance learning in higher education. Washington, DC: Institute for Higher Education Policy.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Rintala, J. (1998). Computer technology in higher education: An experiment, not a solution. Quest, 50, 366–378.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Rumpradit, C. (1999). An evaluation of the effect of user interface elements and user learning styles on user performance, confidence, and satisfaction on the World Wide Web. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60, 10A. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ADG 9918516).

    Google Scholar 

  33. Russell, T. (1999). The no significant difference phenomenon. Chapel Hill, NC: Office of Instructional Telecommunications, University of North Carolina.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Scanlon, E., & Morris, E. (2000, April). Design features in computer supported learning environments for teaching statistics to psychology students. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED443408).

  35. Schrum, L. (1998). On-line education: A study of emerging pedagogy. In B. Cahoon (Ed.), Adult learning and the internet (pp 53–61): Vol. 78. New directions for adult and continuing education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Sharpe, T., Harper, W., & Brown, S. (1998). In response: Further reflections on technology, science, and culture. Quest, 50, 332–343.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Sharpe, T., & Hawkins, A. (1998). Technology and the information age: A cautionary tale for higher education. Quest, 50, 19–32.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Sonwalkar, N. (2002). A new methodology for evaluation: The pedagogical rating of online courses. Syllabus, 15, 18–21.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Sutarso, T. (1992a, November). Some variables in relation to students’ anxiety in learning statistics. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED353334).

  40. Sutarso, T. (1992b, November). Students’attitudes toward statistics (STATS). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED353316).

  41. University of Washington, Office of Educational Assessment (1998). Instructional assessment system, general description. Report retrieved March 19, 2003, from http://www.washington.edu/oea/describe.htm

  42. Vrasidas, C., & Mclsaac, M. S. (2000). Principles of pedagogy and evaluation for web-based learning. Education Media International, 37, 105–111.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Wilkins, B., & Barrett, J. (2000). The virtual construction site: a web-based teaching/learning environment in construction technology. Automation in Construction, 10, 169–179.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Wisenbaker, J. M., & Douzenis, C. (2000, April). Web-based statistical readings for an introductory statistics course. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Services No. ED441812).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jessica J. Summers Dr., Ph.D. or Alexander Waigandt Dr., Ph.D. or Tiffany A. Whittaker Dr., Ph.D..

Additional information

Jessica J. Summers and Tiffany A. Whittaker are Assistant Professors, and Alexander Waigandt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri–Columbia. Dr. Summers holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include the study of social contexts of motivation, academic classroom community, and cooperative learning. Dr. Waigandt holds a Ph.D. in Community and School Health from the University of Oregon. His primary research interest is in demographic analysis. Dr. Whittaker holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include model selection methods in structural equation modeling and multiple regression, interpretation of score reports in computer-based testing, and the effects of missing data on the recovery of item and person parameters in the item response theory framework.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Summers, J.J., Waigandt, A. & Whittaker, T.A. A Comparison of Student Achievement and Satisfaction in an Online Versus a Traditional Face-to-Face Statistics Class. Innov High Educ 29, 233–250 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-005-1938-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • distance learning
  • Internet
  • student satisfaction
  • statistics instruction
  • online course development