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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Take It Easy: An Experiment to Understand Student Course Delivery Preferences

Terry Dalton (University of California, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2014 - 5:30pm
Blended Models and Course Design
Areas of Special Interest: 
Innovative Blends
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research and Evaluation
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Electronic Poster
Plaza Foyer
Session Duration: 
60 Minutes
Electronic Poster Session

This paper describes the results of an experiment designed to identify students' motivations in choosing online versus inclass courses.

Extended Abstract

Technology advances have brought about an ‘out with the old in with the new' attitude towards teaching. Change for change's sake has never been advisable; universities rush to get to the front of the online-flipped-hybrid line with little understanding of the motivation behind students' choices.

This paper addresses this gap in understanding by way of an experiment. In an introductory social science course with 400 students, each student was asked to choose between taking the course in either an online or in-class delivery mode. Except for the delivery mode, the two versions of the course were identical in all pedagogical respects, including the same instructor, textbook and assessment structure. Demographic data were collected and each student's performance was tracked and matched to the course delivery type. Finally, at the end of the course, students were asked why they chose the method they did.

The results provide a fascinating look into students' subjective assessment of the relative merits of online versus in-class courses. Instead of making pedagogical changes in isolation, faculty may wish to consider the motivation behind students' preferences and tailor course delivery modes accordingly.

Lead Presenter

Terry Dalton joined the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California in 2012. She has taught numerous hybrid and online courses and has presented multiple workshops on best practices for delivering student centered learning courses both nationally and internationally. Some of the courses she has taught at UC Irvine include Statistical Analysis in Social Ecology, Drugs, Crime and Social Control, Government Crime, Data Analysis, and Introduction to Criminology, Law and Society. Terry is on the editorial board of EdTechnology Ideas Journal and is an active member of AACE American Association for Advancement of Computing in Education). She has given invited talks on creating hybrid courses and making teaching video-modules. She is the recipient of awards for teaching and student engagement.