Educational Technology

December 28, 2014

Virtually the Same?: Student Perceptions of the Equivalence of Online Classes to Face-to-Face Classes

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:36 am

by Carrie Anne Platt, et al; JOLT

Given the increasing number of online courses and the established association between student perceptions of learning environments and academic outcomes, this study investigated student perceptions of the equivalence of online classes and face-to-face classes. In contrast to previous studies on student perceptions of equivalence, which primarily used specific online classes as points of reference, this study focused on students’ perceptions of online courses in general. Overall, students did not perceive online and face-to-face classes to be equivalent, but previous exposure to online classes was positively associated with perceptions of general equivalence, comparative flexibility, comparative knowledge gained, and comparative level of interaction in online versus face-to-face classes. The final part of the paper applies these findings to the educational setting by discussing their implications for programs seeking to expand online course offerings.

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