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An Empirical Study of Face-to-Face and Distance Learning Sections of a Core Telecommunication Course

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Online Teaching

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.182.1 - 26.182.11



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Paper Authors

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Omaima Almatrafi George Mason University

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Khondkar Islam


Aditya Johri George Mason University Orcid 16x16

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Aditya Johri is Associate Professor and Chair in the Applied Information Technology Department. Dr. Johri studies the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for learning and knowledge sharing, with a focus on cognition in informal environments. He also examine the role of ICT in supporting distributed work among globally dispersed workers and in furthering social development in emerging economies. He received the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Early Career Award in 2009. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research (CHEER) published by Cambridge University Press, New York, NY. Dr. Johri earned his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Technology Design at Stanford University and a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at Delhi College of Engineering.

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Karthik Nagappan George Mason University


Aref Modanlu George Mason University

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Graduate Research Assistant

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Examining Student Participation and Performance Across Online and Face-to-Face Courses Using a Learning Analytics ApproachWe present findings from a comparative study of online and face-to-face offerings of a course. Wecombined data acquired from a Learning Management System (LMS) and surveys conducted withstudents to investigate the relationships between student demographics, their participation patterns, andtheir course outcomes.RESEARCH CONTEXT: The semester long research was conducted across four sections of the corerequired Modern Telecommunications IT300 course. The study involved 98 students enrolled in all thesections. One of the four sections was an asynchronous distance education (DE) section, and the otherthree were face-to-face (F2F) sections.DATA ANALYSIS: The study compared several learning metrics of the four sections taking studentdemographics into account. One important segment of the research is the comparison of a F2F sectionwith the results of the DE section to assess the student learning outcomes. The performance of thestudents has been assessed in terms of the course grade, final grade, quizzes, assignments, and labs. Bothsections have similar assessment measures, but were taught by different instructors. The study usesstudent demographics such as gender, work and residency status, and relates them to student activities andperformance to determine their impact on learning effectiveness. The number of times each materialposted to the LMS was accessed and the time duration to complete an assessment, are just a couple ofexamples of data points used in the study. We also analyze variations between different forms ofassignments and quizzes and between different forms of assessments such as multiple choice and shortanswer questions to determine their effectiveness.FINDINGS: Preliminary results show variations in outcomes based on students’ age. We have also foundthat students who complete their assessment activities earlier, and access the materials more often, tend toearn a better grade than their peers. Overall, we find that digital data available through LMS can provide amore nuanced view of student participation and allow a better understanding of their overall experienceswith the course. We are also uncovering the efficacy of a Learning Analytics approach to data analysisand interpretation.

Almatrafi, O., & Islam, K., & Johri, A., & Nagappan, K., & Modanlu, A. (2015, June), An Empirical Study of Face-to-Face and Distance Learning Sections of a Core Telecommunication Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23521

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