ERIC Number: EJ1076812
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
Comparing Online with Brick and Mortar Course Learning Outcomes: An Analysis of Quantitative Methods Curriculum in Public Administration
Harris, Ronald A.; Nikitenko, Gleb O.
Teaching Public Administration, v32 n1 p95-107 Mar 2014
Teaching graduate students in an intensive adult-learning format presents a special challenge for quantitative analytical competencies. Students often lack necessary background, skills and motivation to deal with quantitative-skill-based course work. This study compares learning outcomes for graduate students enrolled in three course sections (cohorts) taking a quantitative methods course in a public administration program. One cohort of students was taught online, while two student cohorts were taught face-to-face in a traditional classroom setting. Most of the online students resided in the same geographic location as the "brick-and-mortar" students. While student backgrounds and demographics were comparable, there were notable differences in their levels of self-directed learning readiness and persistence. These differences illustrate both course design and modality features for a comparison between online and traditional brick-and-mortar learning environments. We find that predictors of student performance in an online environment are rather well described by the Self-Directed Learning Theory (SDL) and Self-Regulated Learning Theory (SRL). A statistically significant difference was found in the pretest-posttest mean scores, which indicates that students learned the course content for quantitative methods in the online section differently from those in the brick-and-mortar section. Overall, students enrolled in the online section (cohort) performed better on the posttest than did students enrolled in traditional "brick-and-mortar" classes. An age variable shows that older students performed much better than younger students on the posttest. Other differences in learning outcomes between the online and brick-and-mortar sections are analyzed in the study. Stakeholders in online education should be interested in these outcomes.
Descriptors: Online Courses, Comparative Analysis, Outcomes of Education, College Curriculum, Public Administration Education, Statistical Analysis, Graduate Students, Conventional Instruction, Independent Study, Persistence, Learning Readiness, Differences, Predictor Variables, Learning Theories, Pretests Posttests, Age Differences, Academic Achievement, Regression (Statistics), Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California