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Comparing Modes of Instruction: The Relative Efficacy of On-Line and In-Person Teaching for Student Learning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2008

Kathleen Dolan
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee


For many faculty members, the move by universities toward greater reliance on online and hybrid courses raises questions of course content and quality. Many faculty, socialized to deliver information to students in a manner described as “chalk and talk,” wonder whether moving courses out into the online environment somehow compromises the education students receive. In fact, there is a small but growing body of information in political science and other cognate disciplines that addresses these questions and offers evidence that online courses, while different from more traditional face-to-face classes, can offer rich learning opportunities in their own right. This article seeks to contribute to that body of knowledge by reporting the results of a quasi-experiment comparing student success and satisfaction in online and face-to-face courses.The author gratefully acknowledges the support of the UWM Center for Instructional and Professional Development and the assistance of Anthony Ciccone, Connie Schroeder, and the anonymous reviewers.

© 2008 The American Political Science Association

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