Student performance online vs. onground: A statistical analysis of IS courses

Gary Ury, Merry McDonald, Gary McDonald, Brian Dorn

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In previous papers, the authors reported results of smaller-scale studies. The purpose of this study is to combine and expand those individual smaller scaled studies, to determine if significant differences exist between student performance in online and traditional classroom environments. The study includes more than 1300 observations spread across seven courses that are part of the computer science and information systems curriculum at Northwest Missouri State University. Student performance was compared by grade point average, ACT composite scores, number of credit hours completed, instructor, and delivery method. The only significant difference found was between student performance and delivery method in three high volume courses that serve multiple majors and minors. Online students in these three courses obtained a significantly lower average grade than onground students. In four other courses that service upper-level computer science majors no significant differences in performance were found. The varied results of the study could be a simple statement of fact. Different courses in different programs might have different performance results. It could be concluded that online students are simply satisfied with a little lower grade in particular courses or that traditional students perform better because of the availability of added resources planned and implemented for online curriculum. It could be concluded that faculty continue to deal with problems in effectively transferring traditional classroom learning to the online environment. It could also be speculated that the difference is any combination of the above conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of ISECON
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event22nd Annual Information Systems Education Conference: IS and All That Jazz, ISECON 2005 - Columbus, OH, United States
Duration: Oct 6 2005Oct 9 2005


  • Course delivery methodology
  • Distance learning
  • Online learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Software


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