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Achievement and Satisfaction in an Online versus a Traditional Health and Wellness Course

Achievement and Satisfaction in an Online versus a Traditional Health and Wellness Course

Online education has become a rapidly developing educational alternative.  Many universities deliver online courses across a variety of disciplines.  However, few studies have evaluated the efficiency of online health and wellness courses.  The purpose of this study was to examine achievement and satisfaction in students who participated in an online or a traditional lecture-based health and wellness class.  Eighteen subjects in an online health and wellness class and nineteen subjects in a traditional lecture-based class participated in this study.  Outcomes included performance on a 50-point written exam (pre- and posttest) and three regular course exams.  All participants completed a satisfaction survey. The online participants completed a perception survey.  No significant differences were found between online and traditional courses in the 50-point written exam or in the three regular course exams.  Significant differences were found in age, employment status, year in school, and the degree to which participants felt that they were encouraged to participate in class discussions.  Overall, perceptions of the online course were positive.  Data suggests that an online health and wellness class was an acceptable alternative to a traditional lecture-based class, when achievement on exams was the primary outcome measure.  Key Words: distance education, physical education, lecture-based, knowledge acquisition, no significant difference, perceptions, employment status, age, class standing.

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