Learning Equity between Online and On-Site Mathematics Courses
This paper reports on a research study that focused on equity in learning as reflected in the final grades of online and on-site students from the same post-secondary mathematics course taught repeatedly over 10 semesters from Fall 2005 through Spring 2011. On-site students attended regular class sessions, while online students only attended an orientation session and a final exam. Mean final course grades for all online and on-site students were compared statistically to see if there was a significant difference in learning. The findings revealed significant differences in online and on-site students’ final grades, in favor of on-site student achievement. Statistical tests were also conducted on a number of subsets drawn from all students’ final grades in order to search for any underlying nuances that might exist. When the first three semesters of data were removed from the dataset, no significant difference was found between the mean scores for on-site and online students for the seven most recent semesters. It is reasonable to conclude that it is possible for students in both on-site and online sections of a course to achieve equity in mathematics learning as measured by final course grades.
MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching