A comparison of online with onsite learning of undergraduate students in behavioral science and criminal justice as related to their attitudes toward computers and academic achievement
Robert Gonzalez, St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services, United States
St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services . Awarded
The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine how undergraduate students' attitudes toward using computers related to academic achievement when enrolled in online as compared with on-site courses in behavioral science and criminal justice, and whether gender and age mediated the impact. The study population (N = 254) was undergraduate students enrolled in both online (n = 94) and on-site (n = 160) courses in two private Northeastern colleges. The subjects completed the College Experience Questionnaire and the Computer Experience Questionnaire, which measured the students' anxiety levels in the use of computers and each subject's college experience. The two independent variables (anxiety levels toward computers and college experience) were measured against the dependent variable (performance/grades in an undergraduate course) for significance. The results indicated that in the 12 courses analyzed, online students performed at a slightly higher level, achieving an overall grade point average of 3.04, as compared to the onsite course average of 2.98. Results of t-tests and correlation analyses of the information collected from both surveys indicated no significant differences in attitudes about using computers or in how that may affect performance in an online vs. on-site course in behavioral science and criminal justice. Women outperformed their male counterparts in 10 of the 12 courses and had an overall GPA of 3.27, compared to males, who had a GPA of 2.68. Results could not discern if the difference related to anxiety when using computers or some other unobservable variable. The intent of the researcher was to determine if a significant difference was present between age categories as related to performance when enrolled in an online or on-site course in behavioral science or criminal justice. Results indicated age was not a predictor of performance when comparing online to on-site courses; however, students under the age of 20 performed less well than did older groups in both online and on-site courses. The resulting insight may help to guide the design of interventions for helping students, whose only option is to take courses online, to overcome computer anxiety, and gain the skills and self-efficacy needed to succeed in virtual learning.
Gonzalez, R. A comparison of online with onsite learning of undergraduate students in behavioral science and criminal justice as related to their attitudes toward computers and academic achievement. Ph.D. thesis, St. John's University (New York), School of Education and Human Services.
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