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Instructional Design and the Online Student: Do On-line Students Learn More then Face-to-Face Students? Some Suggestive Evidence

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Title: Foundations of Economic Analysis An Online Course Author: myers Last modified by: myers Created Date: 4/19/2002 1:46:41 AM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Instructional Design and the Online Student: Do On-line Students Learn More then Face-to-Face Students? Some Suggestive Evidence


1
Instructional Design and the Online Student Do
On-line Students Learn More then Face-to-Face
Students? Some Suggestive Evidence
  • Dr. Steven C. Myers myers_at_uakron.edu
  • Associate Professor of Economics
  • The University of Akron
  • Presented at the Syllabus Fall 2002 Conference,
    November 5, 2002
  • Online at http//gozips.uakron.edu/myers/online

2
Research Questions
  • (1) Are learning outcomes higher in a web-based
    course, that is, does the mode of delivery
    (face-to-face or web-based) have an influence on
    learning outcomes? 
  • (2) Are students in an online environment as
    likely to do as well as in face-to-face classes?
    Will they be able to equal the complex problem
    solving of the face-to-face students?
  • (3) Will web-based students develop more
    favorable attitudes towards economics than the
    attitudes developed by students in the
    face-to-face class?
  • (4) Do student myths about economics affect their
    learning outcomes and attitudes towards economics?

3
Acknowledgments
  • Co-PI, Michael Nelson who teaches the
    face-to-face class.
  • Grant from
  • Carnegie Teaching Academy
  • Scholarship of Teaching, Assessment and
    Learning Funds
  • Institute for Teaching and Learning
  • The University of Akron
  • Data collected under signed informed consent from
    our students subject to the Institutional
    Research Board for the Protection of Human
    Subjects at The University of Akron.
  • Very few failed to give informed consent
  • Data collection instruments validated by a number
    of independent reviewers and created by a MA
    grad, Michael Lovette.

4
Course under study
  • Introduction to Economic Analysis
  • One-semester principles of economics
  • 3 cr. General education course
  • Required for engineering majors
  • Both face-to-face and on line
  • The online course is similar to a graduate course
    offered since Fall 2001

5
Comparison
  • Face-to-face
  • Offered by Michael Nelson
  • Regular class times
  • Lecture and active learning collaborative
    techniques
  • Better than the norm of 83 chalk and talk
    (Becker and Watts)
  • Some minor web-enhancements such as online
    gradebook
  • Online
  • Offered by Steven Myers
  • No face-to-face meetings
  • High professor-student interaction
  • No student to student interaction
  • Full use of the WebCT environment
  • Mastery competency based learning

6
The online course design has influenced student
success
  • Foundations of Economic Analysis Phase I MBA
    course

Fall 2001-Su 2002 38 A, 4 B, 0 CD, 2 F, 4 WD
MC Learning Assessment Breakdown
Modules Total Recognition Conceptual Analytical CA
2-8 Micro 331 29 45 26 71
9-15 Macro 563 32 54 15 68
2-15 Total 894 31 51 19 69
7
Course Evaluations
Foundations of Economic Analysis Phase I MBA
course
Percentage Agree and Strongly Agree (n21)
Quizzes effective in testing objectives 76
Quizzes tested mostly recognition 62
Quizzes tested mostly analytical skills 43
Course better than other web-based and technically enhanced courses 76 (48 strongly agree)
8
Student Comments
  • The fact that this course was completely
    internet based, had no bearing on the level of
    knowledge I gained from the course. I think I
    learned as much, or even more, than I would have
    in a traditional classroom. I contribute this
    most to the way the instructor organized the
    course.

Foundations of Economic Analysis Phase I MBA
course
9
Student Comments
  • He was always prompt with his responses to my
    questions and always kept the class up to speed
    on class events. I felt every bit as much a
    valuable student of his as I would have had I
    been there in person.

Foundations of Economic Analysis Phase I MBA
course
10
Student Comments
  • I think the online class involved more work than
    a regular class, since there is no real classes,
    you find yourself trying to figure out questions
    that may arise on your own - but it is nice to
    know you have a professor their when you can't
    figure it out.

Foundations of Economic Analysis Phase I MBA
course
11
Student Comments
  • I believe that the benefits of web-based courses
    far outweigh any disadvantages such as lack of
    face-to-face interaction--at least in this
    particular course. Dr. Myers' course was, of the
    four I took this semester over the web,
    truthfully the best organized, most well-adapted
    to the web (by his efforts) of them all.

Foundations of Economic Analysis Phase I MBA
course
12
Research design
Students success f( students initial
endowments, awareness of the
economy, attitudes about economics, course
modality, student characteristics)
13
Research design
Students success f( students initial
endowments, awareness of the
economy, attitudes about economics, course
modality, student characteristics)
Pre-test scores total on recall and
recognition on simple application problems on
complex problems GPA Previous attempt of course
14
Research design
Survey of economic facts 20 questionson trends
and facts in the economy. 2 questions about How
does the student collect business and economic
news. How many hours per week does the student
spend collecting news
Students success f( students initial
endowments, awareness of the
economy, attitudes about economics, course
modality, student characteristics)
15
Research design
Three Survey Questions Level of student report
of being interested in economics. Level of
student report of liking this economics
course. Level of student report about likelihood
of taking more economics courses.
Students success f( students initial
endowments, awareness of the
economy, attitudes about economics, course
modality, student characteristics)
5strongly agree 4agree 3indifferent/no
opinion 2disagree 1strongly disagree
16
Research design
Students success f( students initial
endowments, awareness of the
economy, attitudes about economics, course
modality, student characteristics)
Online or face-to-face Major Level, e.g.,
freshman Credits completed Age Gender Ethnicity
17
Dependent Variable Student Success Outcome
Measure
  • Currently In this paper
  • examscore on first 6 chapters
  • In class exam for face-to-face class
  • Average of first three module quizzes online

18
Dependent Variable Student Success Outcome
Measure
  • Currently In this paper
  • examscore on first 6 chapters
  • In class exam for face-to-face class
  • Average of first three module quizzes online
  • After the Course is completed
  • Post-test (will match up to the pre-test)
  • 2 Analytical Essays (independently-team graded to
    a common rubric)
  • Regular Grades in class

19
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20
Variable Means
  • Online Students
  • Older
  • Taken more credits
  • More favorably disposed to economics
  • Spend a higher portion of their time gathering
    business and economic news.
  • Face-to-face Students
  • More likely
  • To be female
  • To be a freshman
  • To be undecided

21
Priors on initial endowments met.
22
Results on awareness very weak. Survey is
weakly positive. No combination of News
gathering is ever significant. Attitudes are
strongly significant. take_more gt interest gt
will like
23
  • Of student characteristics
  • Those with an undeclared or undecided major do
    much worse than engineers.
  • Older students do worse.

24
Taking the online course is strongly and
positively significant. This is not confirmation
of anything at this stage, but is suggestive.
25
Design of the online course
  • Built in modules
  • Modules completed in order
  • Competency based testing
  • Use student feedback
  • For student learning enhancement
  • For modifying improving the course

26
Course Design
  • DL requires planning for contingencies
  • 14 Content Modules
  • Active Learning vs. Passive Learning

27
Pre-class and Module 1 Preparing Students to
Learn
  • Email me! http//gozips.uakron.edu/myers/online/
  • Is Distance Learning for Me?
  • VARK testing learning styles
  • Orientation Module How to logon to WebCT
  • Orientation Module How to Use WebCT
  • Syllabus
  • Graduate course
  • Undergraduate course

28
Pre-class and Module 1 Additional Orientation
  • How to Communicate with Dr. Myers
  • How to access your online text
  • http//www.economicsplace.com/econ5e/
  • Rules of the game
  • Building a relationship
  • Breakdown the anonymity
  • Survey Tell me about yourself

29
Content Modules 2-15
  • Module Introduction Objectives
  • Chapter Introductions
  • Content
  • Supportive Materials
  • Assessment of Learning - Quizzes on objectives
    with multiple trials
  • Evaluation

30
Introductions Content
  • Mostly Passive
  • Learner Centered
  • Students progress without intervention
  • Micro Modules 2-8
  • Macro Modules 9-15

31
Graded Assessment
  • Competency based
  • Everyone strives to get a perfect 10 (Mastery)
  • Three attempts, 15 min. time limit
  • Questions a mix of (1) Recognition, (2)
    Conceptual, (3) Analytic 70 CA
  • Random intervention by Professor

32
Module Evaluation A CAT from Angelo and Cross
(1993) tested by Chizmar and Ostrsky (1998)
  • What comments do you have on this module and your
    experience in completing it?
  • What main point have you learned that you did not
    fully understand before?
  • What questions Include any points that still
    remain muddy or unclear. Do consider posing the
    muddy points to your fellow students in the
    discussions.
  • What recommendations do you have for us as we
    continue to change and enhance the course?
  • Uses Keiths email CGI http//www3.uakron.edu/ip-t
    ools/email-cgi.html

33
Role of Module Evaluation
  • Planned intervention
  • Forced contact
  • Focus on the learning
  • Professorial encouragement
  • Decreases dropout rates
  • Process repeats

34
2 Research Writing Assignments some objectives
  • Practice and experience in reflecting on a topic
    in the current economy.
  • Practice in analysis of economic trends.
  • Gaining of confidence about talking about the
    economy.
  • Ability to know and use the resources of economic
    commentary, prior analysis and data.

35
The end
  • For more information
  • Dr. Steven C. Myers
  • myers_at_uakron.edu
  • http//gozips.uakron.edu/myers/online

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