About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6507-6516
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0410

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

CLASSROOM VS. E-LEARNING: A CASE STUDY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN DIFFERENT LEARNING SCENARIOS

T. Dondorf, R. Breuer, H. Nacken

RWTH Aachen University (GERMANY)
This study was conducted to compare the performance of students using an online mathematics course with the performance of students who were taught in a traditional classroom course. While many approaches exist to measure the learning progress of students in e-learning environments, practical comparisons of different learning approaches are still rare. To address this gap, this paper provides a direct comparison of e-learning and classroom teaching in practice.

The preparatory mathematics course of the RWTH Aachen University in Germany was used to perform this study. More than six thousand students began studying in the semester of fall 2015. About one quarter of them took the preparatory mathematics course. To get a homogeneous group of students, we restricted our experiment to the group of students in the field of engineering. One hundred and thirty students agreed to participate in the study. Before the start of the course, they were randomly divided into two groups. The first group was taught in a traditional lecture format. The second group used an online mathematics course. All students learned the same topics by using different approaches. The e-learning platform used was the online preparatory course “Online Mathematik Brückenkurs OMB+”. More than twenty German universities recommend this course for prospective students in preparation for their studies.

The aim of the study was to evaluate whether there is a significant difference in performance between students learning with the e-learning system and students who are taught by the typical lecture format. Multiple assessments were conducted to measure the performance of the students. In addition, a survey conducted at the end of the course allowed the students to give feedback about the perception and satisfaction of the study.

Based on our results, the traditional teaching was more successful than the e-learning format in this case. While the overall performance of the students in the control group significantly improved, the e-learning group did not improve their average performance. We performed a t-test to show statistical significance (p = .020) and compared the different results of the students in the tests. Using the results of the survey, we also explain how motivation, distraction and frustration of the students impacted the overall performance.

In our scenario, the use of an e-learning application led to a measurable worse performance. We do not claim that the results are generally applicable for people using an e-learning application, but we point out which factors influenced the learning experience most.
@InProceedings{DONDORF2016CLA,
author = {Dondorf, T. and Breuer, R. and Nacken, H.},
title = {CLASSROOM VS. E-LEARNING: A CASE STUDY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN DIFFERENT LEARNING SCENARIOS},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.0410},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.0410},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6507-6516}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Dondorf AU - R. Breuer AU - H. Nacken
TI - CLASSROOM VS. E-LEARNING: A CASE STUDY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN DIFFERENT LEARNING SCENARIOS
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0410
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 6507
EP - 6516
ER -
T. Dondorf, R. Breuer, H. Nacken (2016) CLASSROOM VS. E-LEARNING: A CASE STUDY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN DIFFERENT LEARNING SCENARIOS, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 6507-6516.
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