Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James H. Lampley

Committee Members

William Flora, Richard Manahan, Stephanie Tweed


Online education continues to evolve and grow dramatically at colleges and universities across the globe. Today’s society is comprised of people who are increasingly busy with work and family obligations and who are looking for more flexible and expedited avenues for higher education. Institutions seek to meet these new demands by offering online distance educational opportunities while increasing cash flow for their college. Unfortunately the pitfalls to this rush to meet online demand results in what some researchers assert are inadequate quality content and curriculum. Others indicate there are not significant differences in the outcomes from online learning compared with traditional face-to-face classes. Much of the research has been conducted on nonquantitative courses, quantitative courses with small sample sizes, or large sample sizes that are not controlled for quality of online content, delivery, or verification of learning.

The purpose of this quasi-experimental ex-post-facto study was to compare student outcomes from two Principles of Accounting courses both delivered in two methods of instruction: traditional face-to-face (F2F) and an on-line asynchronous format. The online content for both courses was developed with assistance of academic technology professionals at the participating university. Student learning was measured as final course grade where all exams were administered by a testing center in a proctored environment. The sample size included 124 students from the online sections and 433 students from the traditional face-to-face sections. Eight research questions were examined using independent samples t-test for 6 of the analyses, ANOVA for 1 question, and multiple regression for predictors of mean final course grade.

The results indicated students performed significantly better in the face-to-face classes than the online sections. Female students scored significantly higher than male students in both methods of instruction. ACT composite score, ACT math score, GPA, gender, and method of instruction all were significantly related to final course grade. Age was not a significant predictor of final course grade but in the online sections nontraditional students (age 25 and older) scored significantly higher than students under the age of 25.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.