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Investigating a College Computer Course Delivered in Both Online and Face-to-face Classes

, University of Toronto , Canada

University of Toronto . Awarded


The purpose of this study is to investigate a college computer course delivered in both online and face-to-face classes. As more online courses and programs emerge, concerns about the quality and comparability of online instruction with face-to-face instruction have arisen. Questions about the relative effectiveness of each mode of instruction are important both at the stage of course development and at the stage of course delivery. Earlier comparative studies have shown that online courses were equal to face-to-face courses. These studies evaluated student services and technological infrastructure, student satisfaction, and learning outcomes. However, few studies have been conducted on computer applications at the community college level. This study seeks to fill in this gap by providing students' perceptions of computer education for a business program at the three-year diploma level. This study has examined the learning environment and informed practice by presenting differentiation and diversity mainly due to different mode of delivery in a college computer course.

This study aims to provide a detailed understanding of the similarities and differences of college students attending online class versus face-to-face class taught by the same professor. It examines students' perceptions of course design and delivery, their attitudes and beliefs about acquisition of computer applications, and their academic achievement as measured by the test scores. Mixed methods are employed to investigate the research questions both in depth and in breadth. In the Fall of 2009, 60 out of 89 eligible participants filled out the online questionnaire resulting in the response rate of 67% and six students participated one-on-one in-person interviews.

Results from both quantitative and qualitative studies show that there is no significant difference between the face-to-face and online students with respect to their perceptions, attitudes, motivation, and learning outcomes. The findings demonstrate that there was no evidence showing difference between online learning and face-to-face learning. The different learning modes provide students with positive learning experiences. This study provides stakeholders such as students, college administrators, and professors with a detailed and meaningful understanding of the important learning environments for the online and face-to-face classes. The implications from the findings will help to enhance, advance, and expand face-to-face and online education at both the theoretical and practical level.


Fu, B. Investigating a College Computer Course Delivered in Both Online and Face-to-face Classes. Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto. Retrieved April 22, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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