Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Dr. Richard Speaker

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Claire Thoreson

Third Advisor

Dr. April Bedford-Whatley

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ivan Gill

Abstract

Through distance learning, the community college system has been able to serve more students by providing educational opportunities to students who would otherwise be unable to attend college. The community college of focus in the study increased its online enrollments and online course offerings due to the growth of overall enrollment. The need and purpose of the study is to address if there is a difference in students’ grades between face-to-face and online biology related courses and if there are differences in grades between face-to-face and online biology courses taught by different instructors and the same instructor. The study also addresses if online course delivery is a viable method to educate students in biology-related fields.

The study spanned 14 semesters between spring 2006 and summer 2011. Data were collected for 6,619 students. For each student, demographic information, cumulative grade point average, ACT, and data on course performance were gathered. Student data were gathered from General Biology I, Microbiology of Human Pathogens, Human Anatomy and Physiology I, and Human Anatomy and Physiology II courses.

Univariate analysis of variance, linear regression, and descriptive analysis were used to analyze the data and determine which variables significantly impacted grade achievement for face-to-face and online students in biology classes. The findings from the study showed that course type, face-to-face or online, was significant for Microbiology of Human Pathogens and Human Anatomy and Physiology I, both upper level courses. Teachers were significant for General Biology I, a lower level course, Human Anatomy and Physiology I, and Human Anatomy and Physiology II. However, in every class, there were teachers who had significant differences within their courses between their face-to-face and online courses.

This study will allow information to be concluded about the relationship between the students’ final grades and class type, face-to-face or online, and instructor. Administrators, faculty and students can use this information to understand what needs to be done to successfully teach and enroll in biology courses, face-to-face or online.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

UBBF2F.pdf (295 kB)
Appendix B - Survey Administered to Faculty in Study