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Online versus In-Class Courses: An Examination of Differences in Learning Outcomes

Issues in Teacher Education Volume 18, Number 2, ISSN 1536-3031


There has been a wide variety of works and views on the issue of teaching and learning online. But much of the work focused on the types of instructional methods used when teaching online. This focus is problematic due to the fact that some faculty members are suspicious of online courses, have significant reservation about the loss of face-to-face contact, and because distance education was previously viewed as an inferior form of education. Faculty concerns, small sample sizes, and the lack of focus on the field of education, coupled with the growing number of online programs in the area of education lead to a growing need for more research in this area. In an effort to address some of the limitations in the previous research as well as faculty concerns with student learning, this study focuses on learning outcomes and compares an online course and a traditional face-to-face course in an educational research class designed for students pursuing a Master of Science degree in Education. The results from the study were mixed. The results are reported in three sections: (1) papers; (2) exams; and (3) survey data. The limitations of the study are also discussed. Based on the limitations, one additional section on course interaction was added to the analysis. (Contains 4 tables.)


Kirtman, L. (2009). Online versus In-Class Courses: An Examination of Differences in Learning Outcomes. Issues in Teacher Education, 18(2), 103-116. Retrieved January 20, 2022 from .

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