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ERIC Number: ED522661
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 95
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-6195-2
The Effects of Online Courses for Student Success in Basic Skills Mathematics Classes at California Community Colleges
Rey, Jason Goering
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
Online education is a modality of teaching that has proliferated throughout higher education in such a rapid form and without any guidelines that its quality and merit is largely unknown, hotly debated, and still evolving. Institutions have used online education as a method of reducing costs and increasing enrollments and students have flocked to online classes for their convenience and often perceived ease. This is very apparent in California's community colleges were students are filling online course offerings in record numbers. Many studies and analyses have been done citing the relative equivalence of online education to traditional face-to-face education and sometimes the relative superior learning outcomes of online courses. This study examined the correlations between taking basic skills mathematics courses online versus face-to-face and student success and persistence. Additionally, five common online course components were identified and analyzed to determine if these components correlated to students success or persistence in of online classes. Contrary to what much of the literature says, the difficulties associated with effective communication of mathematics topics and ideas via the Internet had no noticeable negative correlations with learning outcomes or persistence. Students who began their basic skills mathematics in an online pre-algebra class tended to persist at higher rates and earn higher grades than students who began in a traditional face-to-face pre-algebra course. This positive effect of the online classes diminished very quickly and within two classes of the online class has been completely lost. It seems that the quality of education gained from online basic skills mathematics courses is relatively equivalent to face-to-face courses. Five common course components were analyzed in the study and it was found that only the required use of discussion boards had a significant effect on persistence and success. The use of exclusively multiple-choice examination, mathematics display software, and video lectures for delivering content had no significant effect on either persistence or success. The fifth component, the implementation of proctored examinations, was too new at Riverside Community College District and no longitudinal was available for analysis. The significance of the required use of discussion boards likely lies in keeping students engaged in the class and not in the discussion board use itself. The medium of delivery is likely to be inconsequential to the quality of education, but the quality of the class is more likely linked to variations in teacher quality. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California