Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Louise Dickson, Hal Knight, Jasmine Renner


Educators expect the number of institutions offering online courses and the number of students enrolling in these courses to increase as many students, particularly nontraditional students, discover the advantages of online content delivery. Online courses require new methods of communication between students and faculty as well as discovering new ways to build relationships, earn student trust, conduct appropriate assessment, and deliver useful course content. Many institutions—public, private, and for-profit—offer a wide variety of online coursework but faculty, employers, and the public have expressed concerns about the quality of online course content. In particular, online delivery of coursework in the natural and physical sciences, courses previously offered only in an on-ground format because of their laboratory components, has raised questions about efficacy.

The current study was designed to investigate whether there were significant differences in student success between online and on-ground second semester anatomy courses at a community college in East Tennessee during a 5-year period. Statistical analyses were conducted on the following variables: lecture final examination grade, final lecture course grade, final laboratory course grade, sex, age, and content delivery for students enrolled in online and on-ground Anatomy 2 courses at the participating community college. The results of this study indicated that the most successful students in Anatomy 2 lecture and laboratory classes were older (nontraditional-aged) male and female students who attended on-ground classes. Older students in on-ground classes were more likely to earn an A in both lecture and laboratory classes than younger (traditional-aged) students. On-ground male and female students also gained admission into the nursing program at a greater rate than did male and female students from online sections. While age apparently made no difference in the admission rate for female students, older male students from on-ground sections had a greater admission rate than younger male students.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.