The Effect of Time Online on Grades in Online Sociology Courses

October 13, 2012

Throughout the past decade, web-based teaching and learning have experienced tremendous growth. Yet, research aimed at evaluating determinants of student learning outcomes in online courses is lagging behind. The majority of studies of online student participation have focused on the use of discussion board or other common communication areas. Little attention has been paid to the role time spent online plays in affecting academic performance of college students. The objective of this study was to estimate the relative importance of time spent online, prior grades, and demographic characteristics of students in terms of their academic performance in online sociology courses. Using a multinomial logistic model, the current study examined the odds of attaining one grade versus another depending on the amount of effort and controlling for gender, major, and year in school. Results suggest that among the effects examined in the study, time spent online and previous achievement matter the most.

Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

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