# A Longitudinal Comparison of Online Versus Traditional Instruction

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3 result, combined with the finding of lower average grades for males in the online courses, suggests that there may a gender difference in student performance in the online courses. Table 1: Group Statistics (Sex and Final Grade Percentage) Sex N Final Grade Percentage Std. Deviation Std. Error Male Female Table 2: Independent Samples Test (Sex and Final Grade Percentage) Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of s F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Std. Error 95% Confidence Interval of the Lower Upper assumed not assumed Table 3: Group Statistics (Course Format and Final Grade Percentage) Format N Final Grade Percentage Std. Deviation Std. Error Online Traditional

4 Table 4: Independent Samples Test (Course Format and Final Grade Percentage) Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of s F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Std. Error 95% Confidence Interval of the Lower Upper assumed not assumed Table 5: Tests of Between-Subjects Effects Dependent Variable: Percent Source Type III Sum of Squares df Square F Sig. Corrected Model a Intercept Sex Format Sex * Format Error Total Corrected Total a. R Squared =.012 (Adjusted R Squared =.007) Conclusions Based on the research results, 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 ), they appear to do as well as those students who engage in a traditional classroom using the same materials guided by an instructor. Although statistically, males and females appear to have no difference in performance across the course offerings, there is an indication that 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. When comparing online courses to traditional courses, academic integrity in the online courses is often a concern. Since students are not directly supervised when completing their assignments and exams, there is a greater opportunity to utilize other resources in the online course structure such as getting outside help on assignments and exams or looking up concepts during a closed-book exam. Based on the results of this study, it does not appear that online students are any more likely to garner unauthorized 71

5 assistance on their assignments at least to the extent that doing so would create a difference in student performance. If students were violating academic integrity, students in the online courses would be more likely to earn perfect scores, as they have the opportunity to get outside assistance with their work without the knowledge of the instructor, or even to have a computer expert complete their assignments for them. This does not appear to be the case, as reflected in the final course percentages indicating student performance in the course. Presenting a longitudinal analysis of online courses versus traditional courses advances the field of research conducted on the comparison between these course delivery methods. Additionally, this study supports several findings showing the similarities in online and traditional course offerings. There are limitations to this study such as the use of a single dependent measure of performance. Further investigation in this area may focus on the impact of other objective assessments such as assignments, projects and exams. The course subject matter may also influence the outcome in the study since the course content was computer related. However, 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. References Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2007). Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning. Needham, MA: Sloan Consortium. Bude, L., Van De Wiel, M. W., Imbos, T., Candel, M. J., Broers, N. J., & Berger, M. P. (2007). Students' Achievements in a Statstics Course in Relation to Motivational Aspects and Study Behavior. Statistics Education Research Journal, 6 (1), Christou, N., & Dinov, I. D. (2010). A Study of Students' Learning Styles, Discipline Attitudes and Knowledge Acquisition in Technology-Enhanced Probability and Statistics Education. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6 (3), Everson, M. G., & Garfiel, J. (2008). An Innovative Approach to Teaching Online Statistics Courses. Technology Innovations in Statistics Education, 2 (1), Hansen, D. E. (2008). Knowledge Transfer in Online Learning Environments. Journal of Marketing Education, 30 (2), Pena-Sanchez, R. (2009). Interactive Software Usage for E-Learning of Business Statistics. Competitiveness Review, 19 (5), Rabe-Hemp, C., Woollen, S., & Humiston, G. (2009). A Comparative Analysis of Student Engagement, Learning and Satisfaction in Lecture Hall and Online Learning Settings. Quarterly Reivew of Distance Education, 10 (2), Schenker, J. D. (2007). The effectiveness of technology use in higher education: A meta-analysis using hierarchical linear modeling. Kent State University. Syler, R. A., Cegielski, C. G., Oswald, S. L., & Rainer Jr., R. K. (2006). Examining Drivers of Course Performance: An Exploratory Examination of an Introductory CIS Application Course. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 4 (1), Thompson, J., Knavel, A., & Ross, D. (2008). Online or On Campus? Technology, Colleges & Community Worldwide Online Conference, (pp ). Toth, M., Amrein-Beardsley, A., & Foulger, T. S. (2010). Changing Delivery Methods, Changing Practices: Exploring Instructional Practices in Face-to-Face and Hybrid Courses. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6 Utts, J., Sommer, B., Acredolo, C., Maher, M. W., & Matthews, H. R. (2003). A Study Comparing Traditional and Hybrid Internet-Based Instruction in Introductory Statistics Classes. Journal of Statistics Education [Online], 11 (3), Vernadakis, N., Antoniou, P., Giannousi, M., Zetou, E., Kioumourtzoglou, & Efthimis. (2011). Comparing hybrid learning with traditional approaches on learning the Microsoft Office Power Point 2003 program in tertiary education. Computers & Education, 56 (1), Ward, B. (2004). The Best of Both Worlds: A Hybrid Statistics Course. Journal of Statistics Education [Online], 12 (3), 72

6 Zieffler, A., Garfield, J., Alt, S., Dupuis, D., Holleque, K., & Chang, B. (2008). What Does Research Suggest About the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Statistics at the College Level? A Review of the Literature. Journal of Statistics Education [Online], 16 (2), Manuscript received 10 Nov 2010; revision received 22 Feb This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License For details please go to: 73

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