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Employed > 10hrs/week: 61.8%. Abstract OBJECTIVE: This research sought to compare outcomes and course experiences in online and face-to-face sections of a nutrition cultural foods course.

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Department of nutrition

Employed > 10hrs/week: 61.8%

  • Abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: This research sought to compare outcomes and course experiences in online and face-to-face sections of a nutrition cultural foods course.

  • METHODS: A survey tool was developed, based on existing standardized institutional teacher evaluations, to assess course satisfaction/experiences. At the end of the Fall 2009 semester, the survey was administered online to students in both sections of NUTR 1010: Cultural Foods. Grades and course satisfaction/experiences were compared between sections.

  • RESULTS: Fifty seven face-to-face students (69%) and 33 online students (71%) completed the survey. Online students were more likely than face-to-face students to be older, employed, part-time students, living off-campus, upperclassmen, and a current or former nutrition, exercise science, or health promotions major (p< 0.05). Online students reported more often that “seeing information” was their preferred way to learn (72.7% versus 39.7%; p=0.008). Only two questions (on a scale from 1, strongly disagree to 7, strongly agree) were found to be significantly different between the two sections. Online students were more likely (p<0.05) to report that the class was well organized (6.76 ± 0.52 vs. 6.22 ± 1.29, respectively) and that they had tried new foods because of the course (6.64 ± 0.65 vs. 5.97 ± 1.75, respectively). No statistical differences were found in the other 18 course satisfaction/experiences survey items or in final course grades.

  • CONCLUSION/APPLICATION: It appears that the online and face-to-face courses had overall comparable outcomes and experiences. Results show that online courses are an effective teaching method and a possible alternative to traditional face-to-face courses.

  • Background

  • Over half of all college students are now classified as non-traditional1. Non-traditional students are those students not 18-24 years of age2. Online students tend to be older and have related experience and knowledge of the information being taught3.

  • Teaching online is very different from teaching in the traditional face-to-face classroom3. Specific skills and understanding are necessary to effectively teach and adapt to the online course environment. New technology and programs are available to design and teach online courses, which require additional training and practice.

  • No dominate learning style has been found among students enrolled in online courses4. Learning styles include: visual, auditory, verbal and kinesthetic or any combination of these types. A previous study of online course enrollment found that: 43% of students took online courses because it was convenient with their work schedule and 22% chose online courses because it was convenient to their family responsibilities6.

  • Methods

  • Participants (n=90) were East Carolina University undergraduate students enrolled in either the online or the face-to-face section of a nutrition course, NUTR 1010: Cultural Foods, during the Fall 2009 semester.

  • A survey tool was developed based on standardized institutional teacher evaluation forms to assess course satisfaction/experiences. At the end of the Fall 2009 semester, the survey was administered online to students in both sections of Cultural Foods: NUTR 1010. Survey results, exam scores and overall grades were compared between sections. A course syllabus comparison was also conducted.

  • `Figure 3. Evaluation of online and face-to-face courses

  • (exams, final, and overall)

  • * Significant difference between sections, p <0.05.

  • Results from the course syllabus comparison are displayed in Figure 2, which revealed that there were some slight differences in class structure and evaluation. Course content and exam questions were the same for both sections.

  • After analyzing exam scores and overall course grades, no statistical differences were found in overall grades, with an average of about 86% for both sections. Only Exam 4 was found to be significantly different between the two sections, with a higher average in the face-to-face course (Figure 3).

  • Conclusion

  • Results show that online courses are comparable to traditional face-to-face courses and they can be an effective alternative delivery method.

  • Overall, online students in this study were (p<0.05) older and more likely to be employed >10 hours per week, a part-time student, living off-campus, an upperclassman, and a current or former nutrition, exercise science, or health promotions major.

  • Face-to-face and online courses had minimal class structure and evaluation differences. No significant differences were found for overall grades between the two sections (p=0.903), with an average of about 86%. Online students were more likely to report higher scores for: “the class is well organized” (p=0.0.24) and “I have tried new foods because of this class” (p=0.037) questions. Online students ranked their best way to learn as “seeing information” significantly more often than face-to-face students (p=0.008). Scheduling was the primary reported reason for choosing online section (37.5%).

  • References

  • Business Wire (2004). “Interest in online education continuing to grow with more

  • than half of today’s college students categorized as non-traditional.”DeVry University: pg 5630.

  • Hermans, C., Haytko, D., & Mott-Stenerson, B. (2009). Student satisfaction in

  • web-enhanced learning environments. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 182-99. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

  • Dykman, C., & Davis, C. (2008). “Online education forum: part two – teaching

  • online versus teaching conventionally.” Journal of Information Systems Education. 19(2): 157-164.

  • Mupinga, R., Mora, R., Yaw, D. (2006). “The learning styles, expectations, and

  • needs of online students.” College Teaching. 54(1): 185-189.

  • 5. Haugen, S., LaBarre, J., & Malrose, J. (2001). “Online course delivery: Issues and

  • challenges.” Issues in Information Systems. 2:127-131.

  • Schwartzman, R. (2007). “Refining the question: how can online instruction

  • maximize opportunities for all students?” Communication Education. 56(1): 113-117.

Live

off-campus: 93.8%

NUTR, EXSS, or Health Promotions major: 49.1%

Department of Nutrition

Online vs. Face-to-Face: A Course Comparison

Jessica Bulova, Ashley Person, Brittan Bibb, Sarah Mammarella, Sarah Colby, PhD, RD

  • Results

  • There were a total of 83 students enrolled in the face-to-face section of NUTR 1010: Cultural Foods in the Fall 2009 semester and 46 students in the online section. Of those students, 57 (69%) in the face-to-face section completed the online survey about the course and 33 (71%) completed it in the online section.

  • Figure1. Significantly Different Characteristics Between Online and Face-to-Face Sections; p <0.05

  • There were no significant differences between students

  • in the face-to-face and online sections for:

  • Race

  • Gender

  • Relationship status

  • Number of children that live with the student

  • Participation in a sports team or club

  • Number of hours of work spent related to the course per week

  • Enjoyment of group work

  • Online students ranked their favorite/best way to learn as

  • “seeing information” significantly more often than face-to-face

  • students (72.7% versus 39.7%; p=0.008). The number one

  • reported reason for choosing to enroll in the online instead of

  • the face-to-face section was scheduling (37.5%).

Full-time student: 90.9%

Upper-classman: 90.9%

  • Table 1. Results of course satisfaction questions.

  • Significant difference between sections, p <0.05; mean scores reflect score on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 strongly disagree, 7 strongly agree)

  • Table 1 above illustrates all questions asked and average scores for each. Only two course satisfaction questions were found to be significantly different between the online and face-to-face sections. Online students were more likely to report higher scores for:

    • “The class is well organized” (p=0.0.24)

    • “I have tried new foods because of this class” (p=0.037)

Figure 2. Course Syllabus Comparison