A Comparative Analysis of SDL Online Learning with Traditional Classroom Learning

T. R. Redding
J. Rotzien


The information age and the knowledge explosion are driving an increasing demand for education. The advent of the World Wide Web and ease of access to the Internet permits the Internet to be used as a delivery mode for distance education courses. However, studies which compare the results of educational content delivered over the Internet to that delivered in the classroom, have been inconclusive. Many report no significant difference. One criticism of Internet–based courses is that they are poorly constructed—being little more then speaker notes and reference materials published on the Internet. One report that reviewed hundreds of writings published over the last decade found the overall quality of the research to be questionable, rendering many of the findings inconclusive. It cautions that policymakers and education leaders have ‘a lot to learn’ about how distance education can enhance learning.



There is an increased demand for access to higher education. To meet that demand, colleges and universities are offering more classes online. However, in relation to face-to-face or traditional classes, the educational outcomes of online classes are in question. This study compares traditional classes’ and online classes’ educational outcomes. It also looks at the effect sizes to compare GPAs between the two groups.

APA Citation

Redding, T. R., & Rotzien, J. (2000). A comparative analysis of SDL online learning with traditional classroom learning. Open Learning Focus, 3.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Technology-enhanced, Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Open Learning Focus
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Course and program evaluation, Course organization, Instructor-student interactions, Self-paced learning, Student motivation
Level of Analysis Student-level, Instructor-level
Specific Populations Examined Graduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest 4-year Institution, Masters-granting, Public
Specific Course or Program Characteristics Professions
Outcome Variables of Interest Academic achievement or performance, including assessment scores and course grades, Satisfaction
Student Sample Size 500 +
Citing Articles https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=15401003431653700709&as_sdt=5,50&sciodt=0,50&hl=en