A comparison of student achievement and satisfaction in an online versus a traditional face-to-face statistics class

Jessica J. Summers, Alexander Waigandt, Tiffany A. Whittaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Scopus citations


In this study we examined differences between online distance education and traditional classroom learning for an introductory undergraduate statistics course. Two outcome dimensions were measured: students' final grades and student satisfaction with the course. Using independent samples t-tests, results indicated that there was no significant difference in grades between the online and traditional classroom contexts. However, students enrolled in the online course were significantly less satisfied with the course than the traditional classroom students on several dimensions. This finding is inconsistent with the "no significant difference phenomenon," described in Russell's (1999) annotated bibliography, which supports minimal outcome differences between online courses and face-to-face courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalInnovative Higher Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Distance learning
  • Internet
  • Online course development
  • Statistics instruction
  • Student satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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