The proliferation of economics courses offered partly or completely online (Arnold Katz and William E. Becker, 1999) raises important questions about the effects of the new technologies on student learning. Do students enrolled in online courses learn more or less than students taught face-to-face? Can we identify any student characteristics, such as gender, race, ACT scores, or grade averages, that are associated with better outcomes in one technology or another? How would the online (or face-to-face) students fare if they had taken the course using the alternative technology? This paper addresses these questions using student data from our Principles of Microeconomics courses at Michigan State University.
The study analyzes examines performance of students in three different modes or technologies of instruction: live, hybrid and virtual. The results strongly suggest that the virtual course represents an inferior technology compared to the live sections. If students enrolled in the virtual course had enrolled in the live course their scores would have risen by 5.79 points. The results may reflect the benefits and importance of the direct student-teacher interactions that occur in live classes.
Brown, B. W., & Liedholm, C. E. (2002). Can web courses replace the classroom in principles of microeconomics?. American Economic Review, 92(2), 444-448.
|Links to Article||http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/3083448.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A12a1c7c32466ac8475d97fd87c59b946|
|Mode||Blended or Hybrid, Online|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|In Publication||The American Economic Review|
|Type of Research||Quantitative|
|Intervention/Areas of Study||Course design|
|Level of Analysis||Course-level|
|Specific Populations Examined||Undergraduates|
|Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest||4-year Institution, Not-for-profit, Public|
|Specific Course or Program Characteristics||Social sciences, Large enrollment|
|Outcome Variables of Interest||Academic achievement or performance, including assessment scores and course grades|
|Student Sample Size||500 +|