Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Students Perform Better with Online Learning

Sze Kiu Yeung,
 Singapore University of Social Sciences

Greetings from Yogyakarta, at the IEEE TALE 2019 engineering education conference, where Sze Kiu Yeung from Singapore University of Social Sciences, has just presented the surprising result that students perform better in an online coruse than in blended mode. Normally it is assumed that he more face-to-face contact a course has, the better for students. Sze Kiu Yeung pointed out this was a limited study of students in two coruses, and at present they do not have an explanation of the result. I do wonder how useful the distinction between campus based, blended and online leanring is now. At least in Australia, students are provided with materials online even for a full campus based course, and a minority of attend class. In effect, most students are now studying online, or in blended mode, even if officially enrolled on-campus.
"Abstract— Full online learning was initially introduced for two courses in the July 2018 semester. Before that, in the January
2018 semester, these courses were presented in blended e-
learning mode whereby a total of six sessions were available in
each course comprising three face-to-face lessons and three online sessions. In a full online course, there are no face-to-face lessons and students interact with the instructors through six virtual office sessions. Results for these two courses are available. It was found that students who studied in full online learning had obtained higher median scores compared to blended e-learning in both overall continuous assessment score (OCAS) and overall examinable score (OES) after moderation. However, before moderation, the median OCAS scores were lower in full online learning compared to blended e-learning. Given that the final rank scores (FRS) were obtained from moderated OCAS and moderated OES, we conclude that students in full online learning had achieved a higher median score (Mdn = 58.3/61.9) than those of blended e-learning (Mdn = 53.1/56.2) in both course. A Mann-Whitney U test indicated that this difference was statistically significant. For at-risk students, it was found that there is a significant difference in the proportion between the two semesters. The proportion of at-risk students was higher in blended e-learning compared to full online learning. These results show that online learning is comparable to blended e-learning and based on the data evaluated online students have performed better than their blended e-learning counterparts. Institutions considering offer of online learning courses would find these results useful." From
"Full Online Learning and Blended e-Learning: A Comparison of Students' Performance", Sze Kiu Yeung, TALE 2019

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