Comparison of Student Outcomes and Preferences in a Traditional vs. World Wide Web-based Baccalaureate Nursing Research Course

A. R. Leasure
L. Davis
S. L. Thievon


The purpose of this project was to compare student outcomes in an undergraduate research course taught using both World Wide Web-based distance learning technology and traditional pedagogy. Reasons given for enrolling in the traditional classroom section included the perception of increased opportunity for interaction, decreased opportunity to procrastinate, immediate feedback, and more meaningful learning activities. Reasons for selecting the Web group section included cost, convenience, and flexibility. Overall, there was no significant difference in examination scores between the two groups on the three multiple-choice examinations or for the course grades it = -.96, P = .343). Students who reported that they were self-directed and had the ability to maintain their own pace and avoid procrastination were most suited to Web-based courses. The Web-based classes can help provide opportunities for methods of communication that are not traditionally nurtured in traditional classroom settings. Secondary benefits of the World Wide Web- based course were to increase student confidence with the computer, and introduce them to skills and opportunities they would not have had in the classroom. Additionally, over time and with practice, student's writing skills improved.



This study looks at the effectiveness of online-distance courses. It finds that here is no statistical difference between online and traditional, face-to-face classes in terms of three multiple-choice examinations taken throughout the semester. Students who were self-motivated did better online than if they were not self-motived. Further, online students grew their confidence with computer-based technologies and improved their writing skills overtime.

APA Citation

Leasure, A. R., Davis, L., & Thievon, S. L. (2000). Comparison of student outcomes and preferences in a traditional vs. world wide web-based baccalaureate nursing research course. Journal of Nursing Education, 39(4), 149-154.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Technology-enhanced, Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Journal of Nursing Education
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)
Intervention/Areas of Study Student motivation
Level of Analysis Student-level, Course-level
Specific Populations Examined Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest 4-year Institution
Specific Course or Program Characteristics Professions
Outcome Variables of Interest Academic achievement or performance, including assessment scores and course grades
Student Sample Size 0-99
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