Analysis of a Distance-Education Program in Organic Chemistry

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Distance education has become a very popular mode for providing education to students who would not otherwise be able to take classes. Although it has been used for lecture courses in chemistry, little is known about its relative effectiveness compared to on-site courses with regard to student performance. This study compared sections of organic chemistry in which distance education was the learning mode with sections that were taught on site. All sections were instructed in a team-teaching format. A local instructor taught the lab sections at all locations and lab reports were forwarded to the on-campus faculty via email. Surveys were prepared and administered to all sections of students for qualitative assessment. The surveys provided information on student attitudes toward distance learning as well as the corresponding lab section, team-teaching techniques, and course Web page. Exam and spatial ability scores were statistically analyzed to determine quantitative differences. The data revealed no statistically significant differences between the performance of the students learning by distance education and those in regular sections.


This article was originally published in Journal of Chemical Education. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Chemical Education


Copyright © 2001, American Chemical Society