Students in Fully Online Programs Report More Positive Attitudes toward Science Than Students in Traditional, In-Person Programs
Anbar, Ariel D.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Teaching Learning & Sociocultural Studies
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherAMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY
CitationStudents in Fully Online Programs Report More Positive Attitudes toward Science Than Students in Traditional, In-Person Programs 2017, 16 (4):ar60 Cell Biology Education
JournalCell Biology Education
Rights© 2017 V. Perera et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License.
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AbstractFollowing the growth of online, higher-education courses, academic institutions are now offering fully online degree programs. Yet it is not clear how students who enroll in fully online degree programs are similar to those students who enroll in in-person ("traditional") degree programs. Because previous work has shown students' attitudes toward science can affect their performance in a course, it is valuable to ask how attitudes toward science differ between these two populations. We studied students who completed a fully online astrobiology course. In an analysis of 451 student responses to the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience survey, we found online program students began the course with a higher scientific sophistication and a higher sense of personal value of science than those in traditional programs. Precourse attitudes also showed some predictive power of course grades among online students, but not for traditional students. Given established relationships between feelings of personal value, intrinsic motivation, and, in turn, traits such as persistence, our results suggest that open-ended or exploration-based learning may be more engaging to online program students due to their pre-existing attitudes. The converse may also be true, that certain pre-existing attitudes among online program students are more detrimental than they are for traditional program students.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNASA Astrobiology Institute; National Science Foundation ; ASU Online