"Effects of Course Modality in Summer Session: Enrollment Patterns and Student Performance in Face-to-Face and Online Classes"
Research Affiliate Christian Fischer (left), Assistant Professor Di Xu (center left), Assistant Professor Fernando Rodriguez (center right), Project Scientist Kameryn Denaro (UCI Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation), and Professor Mark Warschauer (right) publish in the April 2020 issue of The Internet and Higher Education. The title of the article is "Effects of Course Modality in Summer Session: Enrollment Patterns and Student Performance in Face-to-Face and Online Classes."
Fischer is an assistant professor of Educational Effectiveness at the Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology at the University of Tübingen in Germany and a Research Affiliate with the UCI School of Education. Previously, he was a distinguished postdoctoral scholar at UCI Irvine working under the mentorship of Warschauer and Dean Richard Arum.
Xu researches labor market returns to different degree programs and major areas in higher education and conducts research to explore the impacts of educational programs, interventions, and instructional practice on student course performance, persistence, and degree completion.
Rodriguez focuses on using learning analytics to better understand student achievement in technology-enhanced and online STEM courses. He uses cognitive theories of learning to understand how students study, and whether using effective study strategies (spacing, self-testing) promotes learning in STEM courses. Rodriguez also studies college students’ critical thinking abilities, especially in the context of reading misleading and fake news.
Warschauer directs UCI's Digital Learning Lab, where members study digital media in education, including cloud-based writing, new forms of automated writing assessment, digital scaffolding for reading, one-to-one programs with Chromebooks, and use of interactive mobile robots for virtual inclusion. In higher education, his team is looking at instructional practices in STEM lecture courses, the impact of virtual learning on student achievement, the learning processes and outcomes in Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and the impact on students of multi-tasking with digital media. The DLL team is also exploring new approaches to data mining, machine learning, and learning analytics to analyze the learning and educational data that result from use of new digital tools.
Online summer courses offer opportunities to catch-up or stay on-track with course credits for students who cannot otherwise attend face-to-face summer courses. While online courses may have certain advantages, participation patterns and student success in summer terms are not yet well understood. This quantitative study analyzed four years of institutional data cumulating in 72,441 course enrollments of 23,610 students in 433 courses during summer terms at a large public research university. Multi-level logistic regression models indicated that characteristics including gender, in-state residency, admission test scores, previous online course enrollment, and course size, among others, can influence student enrollment by course modality. Multi-way fixed effects linear regression models indicated that student grades were slightly lower in online courses compared to face-to-face courses. However, at-risk college student populations (low-income students, first-generation students, low-performing students) were not found to suffer additional course performance penalties of online course participation.
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