Differential Impacts of Online Delivery Methods on Student Learning: A Case Study in Biorenewables

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In 2007, a Virtual Education Center for Biorenewable Resources was initiated that offered three distance education courses, one being Biorenewable Resources and Technology (BRT) 501 – Fundamentals of Biorenewable Resources and Technology, the subject of this study. The primary objective was to determine if course delivery method (video lecture format and the other in menu-driven auto-tutorial presentations (MDAP) deliv¬ered via Flash format), student major (agricultural and non-agricultural), and gender influence online student learning in BRT 501. We found that BRT 501 student performance was not significantly impacted by module delivery method. Students with agricultural majors were outperformed by students with non-agricultural majors, most of whom were engineering students, on the midterm and final exams, and course grade. Gender dif¬ferences seen on the biomass-module first-attempt total quiz score disappeared for the final total quiz score on that module.