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Measuring The Value Of Course Components In The Online Classroom

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Assessment and Evaluation in Engineering Education II

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1046.1 - 12.1046.18



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Paper Authors

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Alice Squires Stevens Institute of Technology

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Mike Pennotti Stevens Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Measuring the Value of Course Components Applied in the Online Classroom


This paper compares online course components and related student evaluations for twelve Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (SEEM) courses offered a total of thirty-seven times to 483 students through the online Webcampus system at the Stevens Institute of Technology from Fall 2005 through Fall 2006. The comparative results are used to identify those components of the online classroom that had the greatest positive impact on student satisfaction in two areas: the perceived quality of the course and the perceived effectiveness of the instructor.


Online education is still in the discovery stage of development. Translating proven face- to-face or ground courses and their related course material from the live classroom to the online classroom, in a way that preserves the original learning objectives, is a work in progress at most forward thinking universities. International learning cultures have been built around open online courseware offered free by MIT, and Yale University has recently announced its intention to videotape live faculty lectures for seven existing courses and make the videos publicly available starting Fall 2007. While the demand for online education is clearly exploding, most university faculty are just beginning to develop experience in this arena. Educators are in the experimental stage in identifying those components of the online course that produce the greatest value as part of the overall online learning experience.

However, one area that asynchronous learning research consistently emphasizes is the importance of interactions among students and between the instructor and the students. (Frederickson et al, 2000; Garrison et al, 2001; Swan et al, 2000) Swan et al, when researching asynchronous online learning, found: “…three (and only three) course design factors that contribute significantly to the success of online courses. These are a transparent interface, an instructor who interacts frequently and constructively with students, and a valued and dynamic discussion.” (Swan et al, 2000, p. 517) Given the asynchronous and remote nature of our university’s online courses, our experience has been that student-faculty interaction, student-student interaction, and faculty feedback are among the top components that drive a successful online learning experience. Success in these cases is defined by a high level of student satisfaction with the instructor and the course, as well as a high level of student performance.

This paper focuses on the area of student satisfaction. Student satisfaction is an important metric in the evolution of asynchronous online learning and the legitimization of online versus classroom education. (Sener et al, 2002) Student satisfaction and success in the online environment is linked to both student performance and student learning in the following way: “One of the critical factors for the success of on-line learning is the valuing of student performance by the instructors. This can take many

Squires, A., & Pennotti, M. (2007, June), Measuring The Value Of Course Components In The Online Classroom Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2094

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