Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Mary C. Enderson

Committee Member

Helen Crompton

Committee Member

Cherng-Jyn Yen


This study compares the outcomes of student learning between two pairs of courses. Each pair of courses consists of an online section and a face-to-face section. One pair of courses focuses on pre-calculus content while the second pair focuses on calculus content. Both pairs of courses are taught by the same instructor using the same course appropriate materials. Participants for this study include 9 online and 14 face-to-face pre-calculus students and 14 online and 23 face-to-face calculus students from an urban community college in the southeastern portion of the U.S. Written responses from the subjects to a collection of problems focusing on solving systems of equations and inequalities (pre-calculus) and integration (calculus) serve as the study data.

Adopting a mixed method design, student work was reviewed quantitatively and qualitatively. ANOVA calculations were used to quantitatively compare scores and values earned on each question to look for differences in scores between the online and face-to-face groups. Qualitative reviews were used to analyze closely the work to evaluate problem solving approaches utilized by the students. The study revealed limited differences between the online and face-to-face groups relative to their overall score, their problem solving abilities, and their common errors. The findings of this study are consistent with findings from existing literature while offering more insights into the learning outcomes of solving systems of equations and inequalities and integration in the two different learning environments.


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