Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Adult & Higher Education

Date of Defense

12-6-2010

Graduate Advisor

Carl Hoagland

Committee

Pope, Mark

Dr. Joseph Polman

Dr. Kathleen Sullivan-Brown

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of traditional and blended (partially online and partially face-to-face) course delivery methods. This study further examined the impact of using technology to improve student learning by providing meaningful learning in the areas of content delivery, communication and collaboration, evaluation and feedback, and personal learning experiences. Non-traditional students enrolled in an elementary statistics course either delivered as a traditional course or a blended course participated in the study. It was hypothesized that students enrolled in the blended course would perform better and prefer this method of delivery compared to students enrolled in the traditional course. Student knowledge was assessed by test grades, course grades, and post-tests. Analysis of the first two indicators did not support the hypothesis that students in the blended course delivery would perform better than students enrolled in the traditional course delivery method. Contrary to the hypothesis, students in the face-to-face course scored higher in the post-test compared to the students in the blended course. These contradictory results may suggest that the differences in teaching strategies and/or the use of technology have not resulted in a significant change or improvement in the performance of students. Past experience, familiarity with instructional format and types of assessment used may be considerations in the findings obtained. Student perceptions were also measured. Results indicated that students in the blended course were more satisfied with using technology to facilitate and help them improve their learning than students in the traditional course. Students in the blended course had more positives perceptions of their learning experiences than students in the traditional course in the following areas: (a) accessibility and availability of course materials; (b) use of web-based or electronic tools for communication and collaboration; (c) assessment and evaluation; and (d) student learning experiences with real-life applications. The perception of the majority of the students in both courses indicated a positive view of technology use in the classroom. The findings further suggest that student participants would choose blended course delivery as an alternative to face-to-face instruction.

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