A comparative analysis of on-line and classroom-based instructional formats for teaching social work research

David Westhuis, Philip M. Ouellette, Corey L. Pfahler

Abstract


Research comparing courses taught exclusively in traditional face-to-face settings versus courses taught entirely online have shown similar levels of student satisfaction. This article reports findings from a comparative study of student achievement in research skills from classes using two different instructional formats. One group used a classroom-based instructional format and the other group used an online web-based instructional format. Findings indicate that there were no statistically significant differences between the two class formats for eight out of eleven outcome student performance activities and ten out of 13 pedagogical strategies. There were large effect size differences based on class format on four of the student performance activities and for student satisfaction with six of the pedagogical methods. When statistically significant differences were found, it was determined that student performance on learning activities and satisfaction with pedagogical methods were higher for the students in the traditional class. The findings support the conclusions of several studies concerning the effectiveness of online teaching. Limitations and implications for further studies are also suggested.

Keywords


WEB-based instruction; Social work research; Distance education

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