A comparative study of grade point average (GPA) between the students in traditional classroom setting and the distance learning classroom setting in selected colleges and universities

Connie Ellison McKissack, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a significant difference in the grade distribution in sections taught using the distance learning format and in sections taught by the same instructor in the same term, but utilizing the traditional classroom format.^ Data for courses were collected from the four colleges and/or universities by questionnaire, and were compared by figuring an average grade point average (GPA) for each setting. There were 397 students enrolled in the distance learning setting used in the study and 380 students enrolled in the traditional classroom setting. The study indicated no significant differences in average GPA's between distance (2.97) and traditional (3.0) formats. However, the results indicated that student completion rates might be higher in the traditional setting than in the distance setting, suggesting the need for additional research on student withdrawal in order to identify causes of higher withdrawal rate and opportunities for improving the completion rate for distance students. Eleven tables are presented representing the grade distribution and average GPA for the two learning settings, along with additional comparative information about the students enrolled in the two settings.^ The average GPA for each setting as used in this study was defined as the mean of the grades awarded by one instructor, in one course section, during two terms. Grades and quality points used in this study and included in the calculation of average, GPA were as follows: A = 4 points; B = 3 points; C = 2 points; D = 1 point; F = 0 points.^ Grades of "W" and "I" were not used in the calculations of average, GPA to maintain data integrity, sections of courses were included in the study only when an instructor taught two sections of one course; one section in the distance learning format and the other section in the traditional format and during the same term. Instructor and course information are coded to provide appropriate and complete instructor and student anonymity. ^

Subject Area

Education, Technology of|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Connie Ellison McKissack, "A comparative study of grade point average (GPA) between the students in traditional classroom setting and the distance learning classroom setting in selected colleges and universities" (1997). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9806343.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9806343

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