Equivalency Between an Online and Traditional Course in Administration of Justice
Angel Odelon Medina, Walden University, United States
Walden University . Awarded
Some states are unable to meet the requirements of court-mandated education of law enforcement staffs to facilitate a rehabilitative environment for inmates. This comparative case study used equivalency theory to compare and contrast the instructor's perspective of student learning experiences with outcome measures of online law enforcement education with its traditional face-to-face counterpart. Data included final grades and completion rate data for 2 semesters, and 2 separate interviews of the instructor of both courses. Qualitative data were coded using the NVivo 8 software program and triangulated with data sources, and rich themes and patterns were identified and member-checked. Online and traditional law-enforcement education produced equivalent learning outcomes when considering the final grade average but not the retention of students. The frequency of assessment and scaffolding activities in the online environment facilitated online student success, but the workload, sterile learning environment, and lack of interaction resulted in high student attrition. Instructional practice, not the delivery system, determined a student's learning experience when measured by content, instructor, and peer interaction. This study provides evidence that online or traditional delivery platforms are viable for law enforcement instruction. Rather than relying on solutions that have not resolved the long-standing federal court issues it is time to implement a different strategy to implement change. This study allows positive social change by providing guidelines for the incorporation of online training and education that conforms to court mandates, is cost effective, eliminates federal court oversight, and increases community safety.
Medina, A.O. Equivalency Between an Online and Traditional Course in Administration of Justice. Ph.D. thesis, Walden University.
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