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"Online and Face-to-Face Teaching: How Do Student Ratings Differ? " icon

Online and Face-to-Face Teaching: How Do Student Ratings Differ? 

This paper reports on a study whose purpose was to compare student ratings of instruction in online and face-to-face (F2F) higher education courses in an effort to better understand how faculty can strengthen their teaching in the online environment. Student ratings of instruction in online and on-campus courses were examined in two different ways that yielded similar findings. First, more than 8,000 student ratings of online and on-campus, traditional courses were compared. The ratings were based on 172 online courses and 470 on-campus courses. Results indicated that on-campus courses were rated significantly higher than online courses in Communication, Faculty/Student Interaction, Grading, Instructional Methods, and Course Outcomes; effect sizes were small. Student Effort was rated significantly higher for online courses than for F2F courses, also with a small effect size. A second analysis, using 11 pairs of the same course and same instructor, yielded similar findings. Students rated on-campus courses significantly higher than online courses in Communication, Faculty/Student Interaction, Grading, Course Outcomes, and Overall Evaluation; effect sizes were large. Overall, both analyses indicated that students are more satisfied with traditional, F2F courses compared to online courses. General recommendations include increased support and professional development for online instructors.

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