Online Learning Efficacy Research Database

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The effect of online core courses enrollment on student success: The case of University System of Georgia.
Lee, D. , Combes, N.
This study examines the impact of online core courses on students’ academic and financial outcomes of postsecondary students. To do so, we analyzed data from a large sample … [more]
This study examines the impact of online core courses on students’ academic and financial outcomes of postsecondary students. To do so, we analyzed data from a large sample of students in the University System of Georgia (USG), governing agency of Georgia’s 26 public universities and colleges. Since 2001, USG has offered “eCore” courses: lower-division core curriculum courses that are offered fully online to students enrolled in either face-to-face or fully online programs, and satisfy requirements at any USG institution. Our dataset contains students seeking associate degrees (N = 103,684) and bachelor’s degrees (N = 238,648) analyzed independently. Our research investigates the impact that eCore has on student retention, graduation, and loan accumulation. Our findings show that students who took eCore courses enrolled in more semesters regardless of the degree beingsought. Associate-seeking students who enrolled in eCore courses were more likely to graduate and took on fewer loans on average. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2020, The American Journal of Distance Education, 34, 260-279.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Fully online  |   103,684 Undergraduate
Effects of course modality in summer session: Enrollment patterns and student performance in face-to-face and online classes.
Fischer, C. , Xu, D. , Rodriguez, F. , Denaro, K. , Warschauer, M.
Online summer courses offer opportunities to catch-up or stay on-track with course credits for students who cannot otherwise attend face-to-face summer courses. While online courses may have certain … [more]
Online summer courses offer opportunities to catch-up or stay on-track with course credits for students who cannot otherwise attend face-to-face summer courses. While online courses may have certain advantages, participation patterns and student success in summer terms are not yet well understood. This quantitative study analyzed four years of institutional data cumulating in 72,441 course enrollments of 23,610 students in 433 courses during summer terms at a large public research university. Multi-level logistic regression models indicated that characteristics including gender, in-state residency, admission test scores, previous online course enrollment, and course size, among others, can influence student enrollment by course modality. Multi-way fixed effects linear regression models indicated that student grades were slightly lower in online courses compared to face-to-face courses. However, at-risk college student populations (low-income students, first-generation students, low-performing students) were not found to suffer additional course performance penalties of online course participation. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2019, The Internet and Higher Education, 45, 1-9.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Fully online  |   23,610 Undergraduate
Randomized controlled trials of U-Pace instruction: Outcomes in two gateway courses.
Fleming, R., Kienzler, S., Stoiber, L. , Fleming, R. R. , Pedrick, L. E. , Reddy, D. M.
Less than optimal student success in gateway courses figures prominently in college noncompletion. Past findings suggest that U-Pace instruction holds promise for increasing student success. However, all published … [more]
Less than optimal student success in gateway courses figures prominently in college noncompletion. Past findings suggest that U-Pace instruction holds promise for increasing student success. However, all published studies of U-Pace instruction were conducted in the gateway course context of introductory psychology. The objective of this research was to rigorously evaluate the efficacy of U-Pace instruction in introductory sociology and introductory political science for students at-risk for college noncompletion and students not at-risk. The findings from both randomized controlled trials indicate that regardless of risk status, U-Pace students outperformed their conventionally taught face-to-face counterparts earning a greater percentage of final grades of A or B and higher scores on a proctored cumulative assessment of learning, independent of final grades. The results not only confirm previous findings of greater academic success and greater learning associated with U-Pace instruction but also clearly demonstrate that U-Pace instruction produces greater learning and greater academic success. Further, the findings of this research reveal that these student outcomes generalize across courses in two disciplines for both students at-risk for college noncompletion and students not at-risk, providing strong support for the efficacy of U-Pace instruction. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2018, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 34(6), 799-806.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Fully online  |   884 Undergraduate
Effectiveness of learning in online academic courses compared with face-to-face courses in higher education.
Soffer, T., Nachmias, R.
This study examined the effectiveness of 3 online courses compared with the same 3 courses in a face-to-face (F2F) format, which had the same characteristics (e.g., the … [more]
This study examined the effectiveness of 3 online courses compared with the same 3 courses in a face-to-face (F2F) format, which had the same characteristics (e.g., the same instructor and final exam content and place). Effectiveness was examined by utilizing a wide range of variables, including 2 objective measures (N = 968): grades and completion rate; and 9 subjective measures (N = 360): 7 measures include instructional aspects (course structure, learning content, lessons watched, assignments, communication), engagement, and satisfaction. Findings indicate significant differences between online and F2F courses in most of the examined variables. Students in the online courses reported better understanding of the course structure, better communication with the course staff, watching the videos lessens more, and higher engagement and satisfaction. Students in the F2F courses reported better contribution of the learning content. Students' final grades were higher in the online courses, and no differences were found in the completion rate. The findings suggest that in many of the examined effectiveness aspects, online courses are as effective as, or more effective than, F2F courses. Interpretations of the findings are discussed 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2018, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 34, 534-543.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Fully online  |   360 Undergraduate
Description of a change in teaching methods and comparison of quizzes versus midterm scores in a research methods course.
Sullivan, S. G. B. , Hoiriis, K. T. , Paolucci, L.
Objective:We describe a change in teaching method from extended face-to-face instruction to a blended classroom environment in a research methods course and compare student scores following a … [more]
Objective:
We describe a change in teaching method from extended face-to-face instruction to a blended classroom environment in a research methods course and compare student scores following a change in assessment from mid-term examination to weekly quizzes.
Methods:
The course traditionally had been taught using a weekly 2-hour lecture for each academic term. A change in teaching methods was designed to include 20 minutes of lecture followed by 30 minutes of topic-specific in-class group discussions. The students then continued group work for an additional hour at an alternative location of their choice, such as the library, cafe ´, student study areas, or at home. Student homework/reading assignments were given as topics for weekly group discussions. In addition, the midterm examinations were replaced with weekly quizzes. Using t-test and analysis of variance, scores for four student cohorts in two successive academic terms were compared using identical multiple-choice questions from the midterms and quizzes for two topics. Student verbal feedback was elicited at the end of each term.
Results:
Quiz scores showed significant improvement over midterm scores for the more challenging statistics multiple-choice questions (t[371]=-2.21, p=.03, d=0.23) with no significant improvement in multiple-choice questions about the safety of human subjects (t[374]=-.401, p=.69, d=0.04). Student verbal feedback indicated higher satisfaction with the blended classroom and experiential learning style.
Conclusion:
Assessment using quizzes in an early and often format, instead of a midterm examination, was associated with higher scores on identical questions. Students preferred the blended classroom environment with experiential learning exercises and weekly quizzes. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2018, Journal of Chiropractic Education, 32(2), 84-89.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Blended/hybrid  |   376 Unknown
The effectiveness of blended online learning courses at the community college level.
Ryan, S., Kaufman, J., Greenhouse, J., She, R., Shi, J.
Whether through the use of online-only or hybrid/blended formats, colleges and universities across the country are increasingly utilizing online platforms as a medium for the delivery of … [more]
Whether through the use of online-only or hybrid/blended formats, colleges and universities across the country are increasingly utilizing online platforms as a medium for the delivery of instruction. At the same time, we know little about how student learning outcomes are related to students’ engagement with online instructional formats. In particular, few studies have evaluated online learning in community colleges, and fewer yet have employed an experimental or quasi-experimental design to do so. In this research, we use propensity score matching to compare learning gains between community college students enrolled in blended courses, (courses that combine online instructional delivery with traditional classroom-based instruction) with gains experienced by students receiving only classroom-based instruction. Among students enrolled in blended courses, we also consider which aspects of student use of online instructional materials are most strongly associated with student learning. While some evidence has suggested significantly poorer outcomes for community college students enrolled in online-only courses, our results suggest that students enrolled in blended courses perform similarly, if not better, relative to students in a traditional instructional setting. Implications for practice and research are discussed. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2016, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 40(4), 285-298.
  |   Multiple  |   Blended/hybrid, Fully online  |   1,024 Undergraduate
Does online learning impede degree completion? A national study of community college students.
Shea, P. , Bidjerano, T.
Using a nationally representative sample (The Beginning Postsecondary Student Survey, BPS 04/09), this study examined the associations between enrollment in credit-bearing distance education courses and degree attainment. … [more]
Using a nationally representative sample (The Beginning Postsecondary Student Survey, BPS 04/09), this study examined the associations between enrollment in credit-bearing distance education courses and degree attainment. We sought to determine whether US students enrolled in distance education courses during their first year of study at a community college tend to complete a degree (certificate, associate, or bachelor's) at significantly lower rates than those who were not enrolled in such courses or programs. Consistent with previous large-scale research at the State level in Virginia and Washington (Smith Jaggars & Xu, 2010; Xu & Smith Jaggars, 2011), we hypothesized that community college students who participate in distance education in early semesters graduate at lower rates than students who do not. Contrary to expectations, the study found that controlling for relevant background characteristics; students who take some of their early = courses online or at a distance have a significantly better chance of attaining a community college credential than do their classroom only counterparts. These results imply that a new model of student retention in the age of the internet, one that assumes transactional adaptation, may be warranted. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2014, Computers in Education, 75, 103-111.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Blended/hybrid  |   18,000 Undergraduate
A ten-year comparison of outcomes and persistence rates in online versus face-to-face courses.
Tanyel, F., Griffin, J.
With the practice of offering college courses and degrees through distance education in order to increase college enrollments, the question arises, “are there unintended consequences for students taking … [more]
With the practice of offering college courses and degrees through distance education in order to increase college enrollments, the question arises, “are there unintended consequences for students taking these courses?” The purpose of the research reported on in this article was to compare student outcomes for online versus face-to-face sections of courses matched by course number and instructor for a ten-year period following the introduction of online courses at a small-sized, southeastern regional state university. Results indicated a +12 percent difference in the percent of students receiving credit for the course and +.15 higher average course GPA (on a 4.0 scale) favoring the face-to-face format. Longitudinal analyses indicated that as online sections of courses were offered in more disciplines by more instructors to more students, the differences in GPA became apparent. These results are discussed in terms of the potential unintended effects of taking an online version of a course on the hour and GPA continuation requirements for keeping state scholarships. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2014, B> Quest, 1-22.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Fully online  |   5,621 Undergraduate
Performance gaps between online and face-to-face courses: Differences across types of students and academic subject areas
Xu, D., Jaggars, S. S.
Using a dataset containing nearly 500,000 courses taken by over 40,000 community and technical college students in Washington State, this study examines the performance gap between … [more]
Using a dataset containing nearly 500,000 courses taken by over 40,000 community and technical college students in Washington State, this study examines the performance gap between online and face-to-face courses and how the size of that gap differs across student subgroups and academic subject areas. While all types of students in the study suffered decrements in performance in online courses, those with the strongest declines were males, younger students, Black students, and students with lower grade point averages. Online performance gaps were also wider in some academic subject areas than others. After controlling for individual and peer effects, the social sciences and the applied professions (e.g., business, law, and nursing) showed the strongest online performance gaps. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2014, Journal of Higher Education, 85(5), 633–659.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Fully online  |   51,017 Undergraduate
Comparison of course completion and student performance through online and traditional courses.
Atchley, T. W., Wingenbach, G., Akers, C.
Enrollment in online courses has outpaced overall university enrollment for the past several years. The growth of online courses does not appear to be slowing. The purpose of … [more]
Enrollment in online courses has outpaced overall university enrollment for the past several years. The growth of online courses does not appear to be slowing. The purpose of this study was to compare course completion and student academic performance between online and traditional courses. Archival data from the host university student records system was collected using the Structured Query Language. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze student characteristics. Chi-square analysis was used to determine if statistically significant differences existed between students enrolled in online and traditional courses when comparing course completion and academic performance. Analysis found statistically significant differences existed in both course completion and academic performance for students enrolled in online versus traditional courses. Additional analysis indicated statistically significant differences existed in course completion by course discipline. 
Full-texts of the citations in the database are protected by copyright. If you would like to read the full articles, please check your academic library. For more information, read the FAQ.
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2013, The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 14.
  |   Multiple  |   Traditional, Fully online  |   5,800 Undergraduate
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This Ecampus Research Unit project is a searchable resource of academic studies of education efficacy across modalities. Filter by discipline or journal to find research in your subject area of interest. View overview or read the FAQ.

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