Examining Students’ Online Course Perceptions and Comparing Student Performance Outcomes in Online and Face-to-Face Classrooms

Dan Spencer, Traci Temple


Through the use of existing grade and student survey data, this study investigated online courses offered at a public four-year university. Specifically, the study explored differences in student success rates between online and face-to-face courses for traditional undergraduate students as well as the climate of student perceptions towards online courses. Our general results suggest that students performed better in, and had higher levels of preference toward, traditional face-to-face formats. However, overall perceptions of online courses were positive, with students viewing instructional technologies as reliable and easy to use, as well as reporting that online technologies facilitated prompt feedback, enhanced their problem-solving skills, and met their learning needs. Alongside this, students exhibited positive views towards their instructors’ skill level and use of technology to support academic success. Logistic regression analyses of differences in student success across instructional formats revealed interaction effects with variables of age (nontraditional/traditional), aid status and whether or not courses were taken to fulfill general education or major requirements, suggesting a more complex effect of instructional format across student subpopulations. The variability in the results observed in the current study warrant further exploration before definitive conclusions on the impact of instructional format on student outcomes and perceptions can be made.


instructional format, student outcomes, student perceptions

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v25i2.2227

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