Comparing On-Line to In-Person Course Delivery: An Empirical Study
- Publisher: North Carolina Sociological Association
on-line teaching | distance education | Sociology (General) | evaluation of teaching | HM401-1281 | teaching sociological research | in-person teaching | teaching outcomes | asynchronus learning networks | teaching sociology
Web-based technologies have been used in the classroom for over 15 years, including websites, email, listserves, library reserves, and text books. Among these options, social scientists range widely in their web usage – from simply posting syllabi on-line to delivering a course fully on-line in asynchronous learning networks. Use of web-based technology for instructional purposes is increasing, as is enrollment in distance education courses and on-line course offerings. Many administrators and faculty promote on-line instruction as the solution to managing increased college enrollments, particularly among non-traditional students. However, are the academic outcomes of on-line instruction similar to traditional in-person instruction? Few empirical studies have been done. This is unfortunate. The results of an experiment to evaluate the relative effectiveness of on-line verses an in-person course on sociological research are presented. Unfortunately the on-line participants did much worse than the in-person course.