Research & Statistics Student Learning Assessment comparing Online vs. Live (Face to Face) Instruction A Goal of the Social Work graduate program SL Goal 7 The goals of research are to launch research-practitioners who engage in lifelong learning based on knowledge and skills acquired in the MSW program, to develop methods of evaluating social work practice and information used in practice, and to instill more discriminating and critical consumption of professional knowledge and research. Research Sequence Composed of Graduate Courses in: ►Research Methods ►Statistics (Not Favorite Courses!) Research Methods Course ►Research Methods course covers: Problem Formulation Conceptualization & Operationalization Measurement Sampling Design Qualitative methods Research Methods Course ►Traditionally course required: Midterm Final Research Proposal Was highly stressful for students! Research Methods ► F2F course consisted of: Lecture Question & Answers Discussion Group work applying covered aspect of course to a real social work problem Online Research Course ►Frequent student inquires about online courses ►Social Work students driving in from all corners of the state ►Shift from program with primarily full time students to part-time students ►Students with work or family demands Online Research Course ►Chose course very comfortable with ►Excellent textbook ►Many notes and hand-outs already developed Online Research Course ►Progression from web-enhanced to total online course ►E-pak ►STaR Training and Support Online Research Course ►Taught live f2f section in addition to online section ►After f2f class, would tape a videostream of condensed lecture (20 min.) ►Covering important points and explain difficult material Online Research Course ►Move from midterm & finals to weekly chapter quizzes ►Assessments of articles highlighting topic being covered that week ►Group discussion of topics Research Methods Courses ►Research Proposal Broken into several components: Research idea and bibliography Peer review of research idea Problem Statement—Lit Review Full proposal Short presentation Course comparison ► F2F Lecture Class hand-outs Class discussion Group exercises with real social work problem Tests ► On-line: Video-stream Handouts and E-pak material Group discussion Group exercises with real social work problem Chapter quizzes Course comparison ► F2F: Assignments interpreting articles Research Proposal in installments Presentation Assessment ► On-line: Assignments interpreting articles Research Proposal in installments Presentation Assessment Statistics ► Covers descriptive statistics through multivariate regression ► Approach is toward understanding and application of statistics to help understand real problems rather than formulas and calculations. Statistics Teaching Approach ► Lecture ► Textbook ► Class discussion ► Hand-outs of Statistical Tables ► SPSS and data Student assignments: ► Chapter quizzes ► Small group interpretation of tables ► SPSS analysis of data ► Write-ups interpreting SPSS results and discussing findings ► Write-ups on questions regarding journal articles ► Final assessment Actual Course ► Captivate snip Final Assessment ► Final assessment is a critical review of a journal article ► Students have one week to review and critique an article assigned by professor ► The assessment results are used for assessment of entire research sequence Assessment ► Questions on Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion components of articles ► Assessment data comparing f2f to online students compiled for 2006 and 2007. ► Data shown here compare f2f to online sections of this instructor Introduction ► Clear Research Question? Hypotheses? ► Appropriate Literature Review? ► Type ► f2f N 38 ► Online 30 Mean (20) 18.97 18.57 SD t p 1.90 2.02 .84 ns Method ► Sample? ► Type ► F2f Design? Measures? Procedure? N 38 ► Online 30 Mean (20) 17.2 15.9 SD t p 3.6 3.0 1.63 ns Results ► Appropriate Statistics? Interpretations of analyses? Statistical vs clinical significance? Type N ► F2f 38 ► Online 30 ► Mean 42.21 42.78 SD 7.3 4.8 t p -.368 ns Discussion ► Proper interpretation and discussion of findings? ► Type ► F2f N 38 ► Online 30 Mean (10) 8.98 9.03 SD 2.19 1.71 t p -.095 ns Total Assessment ► Intro, ► Type ► F2f Method, Results, Discussion N 38 ► Online 30 Mean (100) 87.41 86.28 SD 9.01 8.42 t p .527 ns Conclusion ► End of sequence assessment indicates that graduate students critically evaluate articles by end of semester ► Analyses indicate no difference in learning between students in f2f and online course delivery Conclusion ► Comparisons with a f2f section from another instructor (not shown) found small but significant differences with BOTH f2f and online sections of this instructor! Recommendations ► There are many valid reasons why students may prefer online to f2f courses. ► Important for students to be cognizant of their learning styles and self direction when choosing their courses and its delivery method.