Comparing Traditional and Online Instruction: Examining Developmental Coursework at an Alabama Community College
Smart, Barry Matthew
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The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the effect that course format had on student success rates and withdrawal rates at an Alabama community college from 2012 to 2014. The goal was to determine if students who were enrolled in online, hybrid, or face-to-face developmental courses were more or less likely to withdraw from those courses and to determine if those students were more or less likely to receive higher or lower grades than their counterparts. The study used archived data from the college to collect a sample that included all students who had enrolled in developmental courses at the college between 2012 and 2014 (n = 3,863). To determine the effect, if any, that course format had on student withdrawal rates from developmental classes a chi-square test was conducted that found that course format had a statistically significant effect on student withdrawal rates. To determine the effect, if any, that course format had on student success rates (student grade), a one-way ANOVA test was performed. The results of that ANOVA suggested that course format had a statistically significant effect on student success rates. At the conclusion of the research, suggestions are made for practice, as well as the implications that these results have on future policies and decision-making at the college for students who enroll in developmental education courses.