Contributing Factors on the Effectiveness of Delivering Business Technology Courses: On-Ground Versus Online

John Tan, Hongwei Du, Ching-Lih Jan, Robert Lin


Enrollment in online college courses in the United States has grown by about 5% from 2012 to 2016. This paper examines course design and student performance data to research whether instructors can delivery on-ground and online sections of a business technology course with the same effectiveness. Authors address this paper’s research question by analyzing five pairs of on-ground and online sections of business technology courses. Each of the five pairs of business technology course, has data analytics projects as part of the course content, is taught by the same instructor with the same details of course contents in the same quarter. Overall results of this paper suggest that, with proper training and support of technology, an instructor can deliver both the on-ground and online sections of a business technology course with the same effectiveness as measured by students’ grade points. Further analysis shows that this result applies to female and male students, respectively. Female (male) students learn equally well in on-ground and online. This paper contributes to the literature by discussing some contributing factors on the effectiveness of delivering online business technology courses. Authors suggest that other than technology such as LockDown Browser or Respondus Monitor, continuous placement of the same instructor with Quality Matters training to teach both the on-ground and online sections of a course is crucial to success. Results of this paper consequently provide practical implications to instructors, academic advisers, and administrators of universities.

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