Saturday 16 November 2013

Paper Review: ONLINE LEARNING: A Comparison of Web-Based and Land-Based Courses

Brown, J. L. M. (2012). ONLINE LEARNING: A Comparison of Web-Based and Land-Based Courses. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 13(1), 39–42,49.

Summary
The purpose of this study was to explore the differences in student performance in web-based versus land-based courses. There were three sub-problems:
  1. Why do students choose web-based courses over land-based course?
  2. Is there a difference in the grades of web-based versus land-based courses?
  3. Is there a difference in the retention rate of web-based versus land-based courses?
The study was based on an ex post facto design. The researcher pulled data in year 2010 from past classes (2007-2010) to explore the differences in student performance. Following were the findings:
  1. The average grades were similar.
  2. The web-based was the more popular format.
  3. Land-based courses had a higher retention rate for students.

Assessment
Using ex post facto design, the researcher has confirmed two commonly known notions: web-based courses are more popular but have more drop-out rate than land-based course. But the student performance doesn’t differ due to different course delivery format, is something that is interesting to note. Perhaps similar study in other contexts would help to confirm findings of this paper.

Reflection
This paper highlights the need to focus on finding ways to improve retention rate for web-based courses.

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