MyNotes - Comparison of Online Versus Traditional Instruction


Remember those long nights at your local university? Or, how about working all day and then going to school? Those times are quickly becoming a memory...and research studies like this one highlight what's happening.

The results of this study are straightforward--no significant difference between online and traditional instruction. What's that mean? Simply that students can learn as well online as they can face to face, raising the question, why bother with the face to face?

JOLT - Journal of Online Learning and Teaching
    • A Longitudinal Comparison of Online Versus Traditional Instruction  by
    • Colleges and universities are promoting growth in online course offerings in an attempt to combat economic and enrollment decline.
      • Studies of online learning versus traditional classroom learning have focused on many aspects of learning including the effectiveness of technology (Schenker, 2007), knowledge transfer (Hansen, 2008), and student engagement, learning, and satisfaction (Rabe-Hemp, Woollen, & Humiston, 2009). Studies of online courses have provided insight into the use and effects of technological innovations such as interactive software usage for e-learning (Pena-Sanchez, 2009) and the creation of interactive learning environments (Everson & Garfiel, 2008). Research has also considered the evaluation of information technology integration in traditional courses (Christou & Dinov, 2010).
        • Hybrid instruction was found to be superior to traditional approaches for undergraduate students (Vernadakis, Antoniou, Giannousi, Zetou, Kioumourtzoglou, & Efthimis, 2011).
          • In an effort to measure the difference in student performance in online versus traditional instruction over time, this study analyzed student performance in a single course offered in multiple sections by the same instructor over several academic years. The method of instruction for the course consisted of eleven online sections of the course offerings and nineteen traditional sections of the course offerings from 2001 to 2010. The instructor was the same for all of the traditional and online sections of the course. Additionally, all course syllabi, course assignments, and course exams were developed by the instructor using the same criteria and standards. Grading was done by the same instructor for all sections.
            • Based on the review of the literature and the presumption that online courses can substitute for traditional courses, it is expected that student performance will be the same for the online courses and the traditional courses.
              • it appears that today’s students are able to succeed in an introductory business applications course in an online format or a traditional format.
                • If online students are given the proper materials (online lecture notes, multimedia presentations, clear instructions, reasonable assignments, a quality textbook, and access to an instructor via website or e-mail), they appear to do as well as those students who engage in a traditional classroom using the same materials guided by an instructor.
                  • males may not perform as well as females in online courses.
                    • Further research should be conducted to investigate the extent of gender differences that may occur in online and hybrid course delivery methods.
                      • as younger members of society become further integrated into the use of technological communication tools, the questions about presenting materials in online formats will likely diminish.
                        • Manuscript received 10 Nov 2010; revision received 22 Feb 2011. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License For details please go to:

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