# AN INVESTIGATION OF TRADITIONAL EDUCATION VS. FULLY-ONLINE EDUCATION IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

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3 the mean GPA for the traditional students and the fully online student, each variable was entered into SPSS version 20. Using SPSS an Independent-Samples t-test was conducted by using GPA as the test variable and the Major code of INTE or INTO as the grouping variable. RESULTS Homogeneity of variance of the two populations was tested using Levene s Test for equal variance. The standard deviations were of similar size (INTE s =.6859, INTO s =.6696) with a negligible difference of The Levene s test statistic of 0.94 allowed the researcher to support the assumption of equal variance at the 0.05 level. Data variances were homoscedastic as the null hypothesis was retained and it was concluded that the samples were approximately equal in variance. The results from the SPSS analysis are below in Table 1 and 2. From Table 1 it was evident that the traditional face to face program did not vary significantly from the fully online program. The difference in the means for GPA (INTE mean = 2.747, INTO mean = 2.773) between the programs was Using Thalheimer and Cook s effect size Excel calculator (2002) the ES value was small at Cohen s d calculated as 0.04 also shows a negligible effect in relation to size (Cooper & Hedges, 1994). The Independent-Samples t-test conducted to determine if the differences between the mean scores of the INTE and INTO were significantly different. Table 2 below shows that there was not a significant difference between the two programs (t (377) = -.275, p = 0.783). Using an alpha level of.05 the null hypothesis cannot be rejected. Failing to reject the null hypothesis means that there was not a significant difference in the GPA scores of INTE students and INTO students. MAJOR N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean GPA INTE INTO Table 1: Descriptive Group Statistics Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means F Sig t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference GPA Equal variances assumed Equal variances not assumed Lower Upper Table 2: Independent Samples Test Results LIMITATIONS The first limitation of this study is that it utilized a convenient sample of students. Therefore, the sample may not be representative of the entire population. The sample was composed of students enrolled in information technology courses taught by instructors in the School of Information Technology at a regional Southern state college in the U.S. Future research should include random sampling to include a more diverse group of students in other areas of study and other regions of the country or world. Also, this study used the academic GPA as a measure of student success. This can be considered a limitation because GPA is only one way to measure student performance and academic success. Finally, it should be noted that a planned, quality assurance approach has been implemented to support a solid design of online courses and the fully- Proceedings of the Southern Association for Information Systems Conference, Savannah, GA, USA March 8 th 9 th,

6 13. Klesius, J. P. Homan, S., &Thompson T. (1997). Distance education compared to traditional education: the students view. International Journal of Instructional Media, 24, McFarland, D. and Hamilton, D. (2005). Factors affecting students performance and satisfaction: Online vs. traditional course delivery. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 46(2), Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the cyberspace classroom: The realities of online teaching. Jossey- Bass. 16. Patton, C. (2005, May). Faster, cheaper, better: Distance education is no longer the next great phase of k-12 education. Acceptance is growing, technologies are improving and demand is rising. District Administration,41(5), Pethokoukis, J. M. (2002, June). E-learn and earn: As dot coms mostly fade, online universities are proving that there s gold in them that screens. U.S. ews and World Report, 132(22), Quality matters program: Higher education program. (2010). Retrieved December 15, 2012 from 19. Russell, T. (2001). The no significant difference phenomenon: A comparative research annotated bibliography on technology for distance education. (5th ed.). Raleigh, NC: The International Distance Education Certification Center. 20. Thalheimer, W., & Cook, S. (2002). How to calculate effect sizes from published research: A simplified methodology. Retrieved December 19, Virkus, S. Review of: Online education and learning management systems: global e-learning in a Scandinavian perspective Retrieved from: Proceedings of the Southern Association for Information Systems Conference, Savannah, GA, USA March 8 th 9 th,

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