Asee peer logo

A Comparative Analysis of Student Performance and Face-to-Face Engineering Courses

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Computers in Education 4 - Online and Distributed Learning 1

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Sunay Palsole Texas A&M University

visit author page

Dr. Palsole is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Remote Engineering Education at Texas A&M University, and has been involved in academic technology for over 20 years. He helped establish the Engineering Studio for Advanced Instruction & Learning (eSAIL), a full service unit focused on online and technology enhanced learning. He and his colleagues have helped design and create market driven strategies for courses, certificates and programs. Prior to Texas A&M, he was the Associate Vice Provost for Digital Learning at UT San Antonio, where he established the Office of Digital Learning that created a unit focused on innovative delivery across the entire spectrum of technology enabled learning - from in-class to online. Over his career, he has helped a few hundred faculty from varied disciplines develop hybrid and online courses. He has also taught traditional, hybrid and online courses in various STEM disciplines ranging in size from 28 to 250. He is also co-developer of a Digital Academy which was a finalist for the Innovation Award by the Professional and Organizational Development Network and an Innovation Award winner. He was also named as the Center for Digital Education’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers for 2016. His focus on the user experience and data, has led to development and adoption of design strategies that measure learning and teaching efficacies across his service in various institutions of higher education.

visit author page


Jeff Chernosky Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Jeff Chernosky is the Learning Architect and Curriculum Manager for the Studio of Advanced Instruction and Learning for the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. He also serves in an adjunct role with the Department of Educational Leadership and Technology at Tarleton State University. He earned a B.A. in Education, an M.Ed. in Adult Learning and Technology from Western Governors University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. With over 25 years in dynamic adult education settings including Higher Education, the Federal Government, non-profits, Fortune 200 companies, and K12 settings. He created numerous high-stakes national and international technical curricula. He is a proponent and practitioner of competency-based learning, international engineering education, academic technology, active learning, and constructivist approaches, especially gamification.

visit author page


Randy McDonald Texas A&M University Engineering Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Randy McDonald is the Director of Learning Design and Distance Education for the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University where he leads a design team in the development of online programs for academic credit and workforce development.

Prior to coming to Texas A&M, Randy worked at Stephen F. Austin State University for twenty-five years in a variety of roles including technology specialist for the Center for Professional Development and Technology, tenured faculty member in the College of Education, director of instructional technology and distance education, director of the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan, and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Randy holds a B.B.A. in Information Systems and Quantitative Studies from Abilene Christian University, an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Stephen F. Austin State University, an M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Texas, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education from Texas A&M-Commerce. Dr. McDonald's publications have addressed technology’s impact on course development, teacher education, and library services. Randy is a past-president of the Texas Distance Learning Association and has served on the board of directors of the United State Distance Learning Association.

visit author page

Download Paper |


In March 2020, all courses were forced to rapidly migrate to an online or remote teaching/learning environment in order to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This rapid change in teaching and learning modalities caused disruptions in learning cycles, which led to the development and adoption of mitigation strategies. In almost all cases, the faculty made the choice of transitioning to entirely online or remote teaching. The initial data from the Spring 2020 semester were mixed, with students indicating a mix of preferences for fully asynchronous online courses and live remote teaching using web conferencing tools. The data also showed a range of satisfaction in their experiences with online learning. With the understanding that the Fall semester and potentially the future year may require the use of alternative modalities of teaching, the College of Engineering at a large university in the southwest, identified high enrollment courses and supported the development of fully online courses. Despite all current knowledge around student satisfaction in higher education, researchers point out that much remains unknown. The effects of the specific course elements, individually and collectively, when designing a course are not fully understood (Chen et al., 2016; King, 2016). The multiple factors surrounding the achievement of learning outcomes can be related to several factors such as environment, learner aptitude, and course design elements (King, 2016; Simmons et al., 2016). The distinct effect specific to student engagement and learning strategies could potentially contribute to student satisfaction (Nuangchalerm et al., 2011). In addition, there is a paucity of studies that are focused on entirely online engineering courses. Previous studies have shown that faculty who have a high degree of help in instructional design and development of their online courses demonstrate better course outcomes (Gibson & Kinsey, 2018). So the college made the decision to provide faculty with substantial support in course design and development. Once these courses were identified for development, departments selected faculty to collaborate with the instructional technology support center to build fully online courses which were deployed for Fall 2020. This study will develop a comparative analysis of student performance in a fully online course and its equivalent face-to-face course. Additionally, this study seeks to develop an understanding of the metacognitive and self-regulatory factors that are related to enhanced student performance in online courses.

Palsole, S., & Chernosky, J., & McDonald, R. (2021, July), A Comparative Analysis of Student Performance and Face-to-Face Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36564

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015