Date of Award

Fall 11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Phillip Guy


The purpose of this study is centered on health information management (HIM) student learning outcomes and attrition in an online learning environment as compared with that of a traditional face-to-face learning environment. Online education has become mainstream and enrollment continues to grow even though overall enrollment in higher education has decreased (Poulin & Straut, 2016). In addition, colleges and universities retain fewer online students than traditional face-to-face students (Brown, 2017). Furthermore, student satisfaction has been labeled as a measure of quality for online education (Online Learning Consortium, 2017). The Community of Inquiry theory of student satisfaction with an online learning environment was utilized as the theoretical framework for this study (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000). Quantitative data were collected from accredited two-year associate health information management program directors for analysis in this study. Students currently enrolled in health information management online courses were surveyed with a Community of Inquiry survey instrument to assess their perceptions of satisfaction with online courses. Descriptive analysis methods were utilized to answer the four research questions which guided this study. The findings of the study on differences between the national Registered Health Information Technician final exam scores and domain scores from graduates of traditional face-to-face courses with similar peers enrolled in online courses demonstrated a significant difference with lower overall scores for online graduates. On the other hand, there was no statistically significant difference between attrition rates of traditional face-to- face and online programs. Based on the analysis of the Community of Inquiry data, students of current online HIM courses have an above average degree of satisfaction.


Copyright 2018