Are they the same? Comparing the instructional quality of online and face-to-face graduate education courses

December 2007

Source: Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, Vol. 32, Iss. 6; Dec 2007 pg. 681.

As instructors adopt web-based learning environments, they must consider how students' evaluations of learning reflect the overall quality of instruction. Traditional course evaluations are used for faculty retention, tenure and promotion decisions, but also provide instructors with valuable information on the quality of their instruction.

This study looks at response rates and compares instructional quality, using student course evaluations along with additional data from online and face-to-face graduate education courses, to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction.

A statistical analysis of students' course evaluations showed no significant difference in instructional quality based on the format used. Together with comparisons of student work, these results provide additional evidence in support of the finding of no significant difference between formats in the area of instructional quality.

Updated: Jan. 15, 2008