June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Continuing Professional Development
There are an increasing number of degree programs for working professionals offered online. Significant characteristics associated with these programs include persistence in the program and time to degree completion. It is common in online programs for students to register for two courses a term so as to complete the degree in a timely manner. Likewise, to encourage persistence and thus timely degree completion a number of programs are being implemented wherein courses are taught in half semester sessions. In this way a student can complete two courses in a semester while focusing on one topic at a time.
The University of ___ offers an online degree program targeted to working engineers. Courses in the program are offered in half-semester sessions with most students taking two courses per semester. One course offered through the program is Quality Control. This course was initially developed as a full semester fully online course several years before the establishment of the online degree program. The content and learning outcomes are identical for the full semester course and the half semester course.
In this paper we compare student evaluations for the half-semester versus full-semester versions of the course. Two distinct evaluations are examined: the traditional college evaluation that is administered to all students in all courses and an evaluation designed specifically for online courses. The evaluations examine student satisfaction with the content, the format, and the instructor as well as perceived learning. A variety of factors are considered using a 5 point Likert scale as well as open ended student comments. We also discuss instructor considerations and satisfaction with the courses taught on the different time scales.
The literature on student satisfaction for “intensive” courses is primarily drawn from students in education programs and liberal arts programs. Understanding the preferences of working engineers for this format is beneficial. Student participation in this study was too small to draw definitive conclusions, however results do help define opportunities for improved communication and student satisfaction for this population.
Rutz, E., & Huston, T. R. (2017, June), Comparing Student Satisfaction in Full-Term vs. Half-Term Online Course: Results of a Pilot Study Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28053
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