Comparative Analysis of Learner Satisfaction and Learning Outcomes in Online and Face-to-Face Learning Environments


This empirical study compared a graduate online course with an equivalent course taught in a traditional face-to-face format on a variety of outcome measures... there was no difference between the two course formats in several measures of learning outcomes... The overall mean rating of the face-to-face class projects was 3.47 (SD= .60) and the mean rating for the online class projects was 3.40 (SD= .61). The difference in the project ratings for the two groups was not significant... The results of this study show that student satisfaction with their learning experience to be slightly more positive for students in a traditional course format although there is no significant difference in the quality of the learning that takes place. These results support the argument that online instruction can be designed to be as effective as traditional face-to-face instruction... Using a blind review process to judge the quality of the major course projects, the ratings of the three independent reviewers showed no difference in the quality of the projects across the two course formats. In addition, the distributions of course grades for both the online and face-to-face classes were to a large extent equally distributed. The findings of this study show that online learning can be as effective as face-to-face learning in many respects in spite of the fact that students in online programs may be less satisfied with their experience than students in more traditional learning environments.

About the Study

Finding No Significant Difference
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