Date of Award

Spring 1-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Megan Zacheis

Abstract

The traditional face-to-face classroom is slowly losing its place in education as online learning becomes increasingly popular. With the growth of online learning, it falls to educators, administrators, and researchers to ensure students enrolled in online courses are being given an education equal to students enrolled in face-to-face courses. Beyond ensuring the students in online courses perform the same as their peers in traditional courses, students across all delivery systems need to be engaged. In this study, the effectiveness and perceived engagement of students between online and face-to-face courses were examined comparing outcomes, attendance, and withdrawal rates; and perceptions of engagement from the view of students and faculty. From the results, there was no significant difference in outcomes between online and face-to-face courses. There was a difference in withdrawal and attendance rates between online and face-toface courses, and students indicated adequate engagement in online courses, but still showed a preference for face-to-face courses when available. Faculty members felt better able to engage with students in face-to-face courses, and some tools (discussion boards and social media) did not aid in meaningful engagement. Online learning cannot be considered a trend, and students in online course perform at least as well as students in face-to-face courses. As students become increasingly more comfortable with online learning, it is incumbent upon educators to find a path to meaningful online student engagement.

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