Performance on tests of economic literacy: A comparison of face-to-face with online instruction

Frank P. Albritton Jr.


Does taking a college level course in the principles of economics improve economic literacy? While there is debate on whether courses in the principles of economics as taught at colleges and universities improve general economic literacy, more and more of these courses are being taught online. There has been considerable research in other subjects as to whether there is a difference in student performance dependent upon whether the courses was taken in a traditional face–to–face format or online. However, in the critically important subjects dealt with in the principles of economics, there has been discussion but little research conducted about whether online delivery is equivalent in terms of student achievement to the traditional face–to–face delivery. The purpose of this paper is to determine if there is a difference in the performance of students, as measured by economic literacy, between students taking a course in the principles of economics using a face–to–face versus online format. The data was collected using an online questionnaire over two semesters at a community college and analyzed using SPSS, version 12.

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