Effectiveness of Student Learning—a Comparison between Online & Face-To-Face Formats
Magdy Akladios, Ph.D., P.E., CSP, CPE, CSHM; Gino Lim, Ph.D; Hamid R. Parsaei. Ph.D., P.E

The effectiveness of delivery systems for engineering courses has been long debated. In this study, two modes of delivery systems were compared, an online system, and a conventional face-to-face system to two cohorts of undergraduate students. To reduce variability, both courses were instructed by the same instructor, using the same textbook, and accompanied the same instructional material. The face-to-face class (control group) met twice a week for 90 minutes each session. The instructional material for the online students (experimental group) was made available to students via a secure website in an asynchronous mode. In addition, an audio version of the lecture materials was embedded using an internet-software for the online version of the course. The grade point average (GPAs) of both groups of students were compared to ensure that both groups are comparable. A uniform pre-test was administered to both groups to identify any significant prior knowledge about the subject matter between these two groups. Several hypotheses were tested to assess the overall effectiveness of the online course in comparison to the traditional in-class lectures. In addition, other factors such as gender, and class standing were compared and analyzed.

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