International Journal of

Business & Management Studies

ISSN 2694-1430 (Print), ISSN 2694-1449 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijbms
A Comparison of Learning Outcomes from Online and Face-to-Face Accounting Courses at a Four-Year University


Online education continues to evolve and grow dramatically at colleges and universities across the globe.  Institutions seek to meet the new demands by offering online distance educational opportunities while increasing cash flow for their college.  The purpose of this quasi-experimental ex-post-facto study was to compare student outcomes from two Principles of Accounting courses both delivered in two methods of instruction: traditional face-to-face and an online asynchronous format.  The online content for both courses was developed with assistance of academic technology professionals at the participating university.  Student learning was measured as final course grade where all exams were administered by a testing center.  The sample size included 124 students from the online sections and 433 students from the traditional face-to-face sections.

The results indicated students performed significantly better in the face-to-face classes than the online sections.  Female students scored significantly higher than male students in both methods of instruction.  ACT composite score, ACT math score, GPA, gender, and method of instruction all were significantly related to final course grade.  Age was not a significant predictor of final course grade but in the online sections nontraditional students (age 25 and older) scored significantly higher than students under the age of 25.