Longitudinal Student Research Competency: Comparing Online and Traditional Face-to-Face Learning Platforms
Keywords: distance learning, knowledge retention, research self-efficacy
AbstractThis exploratory research compares longitudinal research self-efficacy and retention between a completely asynchronous Master of Social Work (MSW) online cohort and its traditional face-to-face counterpart. This study used a non-equivalent comparison groups design with two groups: online instruction only (n=16) and traditional face-to-face instruction (n=32), with pretest (Time 1), posttest (Time 2) and follow-up (Time 3) standardized measures of practice evaluation knowledge (PEKS) and research self-efficacy (RSES) in a beginning research methods course. Results indicate that students’ knowledge and research self-efficacy improved between pretest and posttest and remained significantly improved at follow-up one year later, with no significant difference between online learners and traditional face-to-face students. Students gain and maintain confidence in research methods and evaluation regardless of the learning platform utilized.
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