Date of Award

7-1-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Ganga Persaud

Third Advisor

Dr. Edward Williams

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare student performance in an online college algebra class and a traditional face-to-face (traditional) class so as to determine whether online instruction was more effective than face-to-face (traditional) instruction. The results were expected to provide instructors, administrators, policy makers, and software program writers a better understanding of instructional techniques that can be incorporated along with technology, thus improving student learning and subsequently improving student performance in the class. The results may be important because of claims made by supporters of technology-based education. The independent variables in the studies were instructional techniques, student perception of online class, experience with web-based/online technology, and demographic variables (age, gender, employment status, and ethnicity). The dependent variable was student performance in a college algebra class. The study was conducted at a technical college in Atlanta, Georgia. A web-based software program, EDUCOSOFT, was used in the treatment. A pretest was administered to the students enrolled in face-to-face (traditional) class at the beginning of the quarter which determined the weak areas of the student. A study plan was developed on EDUCOSOFT which covered the week areas. Students were required to score a minimum of 70% in the study plan before they were allowed to proceed further. Students were given traditional and online tests and their scores were compared. A posttest and final exam were administered at the end of the term. A survey questionnaire was distributed at the end to the students. Data collected from the tests and questionnaire was used to generate the statistics. The results of the study indicated that gain scores were significantly related to computerized tests and quizzes. Students who made low gain scores viewed the EDUCOSOFT program high and traditional tests and quizzes influenced the final grades significantly. White Caucasian and Middle Eastern students gained more than African American and Hispanic students. Results from regression analysis indicated that the EDUCOSOFT program was not effective in helping younger students to learn algebra as compared with older students.

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