Replicating and Unraveling Performance and Behavioral Differences between an Online and a Traditional CS Course

Joyner, D. A. & McDaniel, M. (2019). Replicating and Unraveling Performance and Behavioral Differences between an Online and a Traditional CS Course. In Proceedings of the ACM Global Computing Education Conference (CompEd). Chengdu, China. ACM Press.

Abstract: In January 2017, a major public research university launched an online version of CS1 targeted at on-campus students to address rising enrollments and provide students with flexibility in their schedules. Prior research on this class has found positive outcomes: students in the course achieve the same learning outcomes as those in a traditional course, while reporting a lower time investment to reach those outcomes and a high level of student satisfaction. This research builds on that prior work in two ways. First, it replicates the findings from that earlier semester with an entirely new semester of students. Second, it delves deeper into the student experience within the online course and its traditional counterpart. This deeper analysis focuses specifically on the differing ways in which students in each section allocated their time, whether or not students in either section accessed the opposite section’s material, and their future preferences in online vs. residential CS classes.

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