Construction and Evaluation of an Online Microbiology Course for Nonscience Majors
The development of web-based technologies provides a new method for course delivery. As with any new technique, evaluation is a necessary tool to determine if the method is consistent with expectations. This study describes the conversion of a nonscience majors’ microbiology lecture course to online delivery and evaluates the hypothesis that the online course can be as effective as the traditional course. Course examination scores are compared between the face-to-face and online sections over a 3-year period. On all but one of the course examinations, no significant difference is found for those students in these two distinctly different course types. The success rate, as defined by those students earning grades of C or better, is high for both course types, although the traditional course success rate is slightly higher. Student evaluations of the courses are also positive, though some differences are noted. Overall, student performance in the online course is equivalent to that in the traditional course.
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