CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Maxine S. Cohen

Committee Member

Timothy Ellis

Committee Member

Reginald Hendricks

Abstract

Increasing numbers of students are returning to school and choosing alternatives to the lecture method of instruction. Using technology to reach students is a solution colleges and universities are evaluating and implementing with the goal of increasing enrollment and reducing the cost of instruction. This research examines the impact two technology-based delivery systems have on the student's learning experience compared with an equivalent classroom-based instructional method.

Academic institutions are being asked to respond to the rapid changes faced by the communities they serve especially as current workers return to join new students in obtaining knowledge and skills needed in today's workplace. The key technology of today's economy is based on access to instruction; however, the data is limited in describing the characteristics of distant learners and the effectiveness of tele courses and web-based instructional systems compared to the lecture-based system. This research is a qualitative and quantitative study that examined and evaluated traditional lecture-based, tele course, and web-based instructional delivery systems during an academic year. The hypothesis of this research is that there is no significant difference between the three instructional delivery systems in terms of performance, measured by a pre-test and overall final course grade, and attitude measured by survey response.

The research project is based on a quasi-experimental design with three key factors. The first factor is the instructional delivery system (lecture class, telecourse, and web-based), the second factor is gender, and the third factor is age. For this study the students were defined as either traditional age (under the age of 22) or non-traditional age (22 years and older). This research provides data to the educational community that indicates student performance is not impacted by their choice of a telecourse or a web-based section. There was no significant difference in the final course grades in these two forms of distance learning delivery systems when compared to final course grades earned by students in the traditional lecture class during the academic year. The results will provide academic and administrative teams with additional data to assist in the implementation of appropriate instructional delivery systems. This research can provide institutions with facts that will allow them to utilize technology-based delivery systems confident that students will not be negatively impacted when compared to conventional teaching/learning methods.

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