A Study of the Influence of Online Courses on Grading

By Shelly Shuch, Elaine Nikolakakos and Jennifer Reeves.

Published by The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation

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The researchers in this study compared the grade point averages of students in an online Master’s program with a comparable cohort who previously participated in a face-to-face program. The researchers found that overall GPAs were significantly lower in the online program. Some possible reasons regarding the differences found included faculty employment status, adjunct or full time; the desire of some faculty to be liked by students; adequate faculty training; students who lacked organizational skills and had limited proficiency when using technology. Also noted was a larger variability in overall online grades, with a substantial number of lower achievers in the online cohort. The lack of a direct personal relationship between faculty and students is also a consideration and has implications for both actual achievement and perceived achievement as reflected in grading. Clearly, more research is needed, especially considering the expanding presence of online programs.

Keywords: Grade Inflation, Teacher Education, Online Program

The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 659.833KB).

Dr. Shelly Shuch

Associate Professor, School of Education and Psychology, Touro College, New York, NY, USA

Sheldon Shuch is an associate professor in the Master of Teaching Literacy Program at Touro College and the director of Online Learning. He was a district administrator in the NYC public school for over two decades. He has consulted with school districts and community organizations on school reform, proposal and grant development, and professional development issues. He received his PhD from Fordham University.

Dr. Elaine Nikolakakos

Chair, Master of Teaching Literacy Program , School of Education and Psychology, Touro College, New York, NY, USA

Elaine Nikolakakos is the chair of the Master of Teaching Literacy Program at Touro College. She was an educator in the NYC public school system for many years. She received her Ed.D. from NOVA Southeastern University.

Dr. Jennifer Reeves

Program Professor of Research and Statistics, Director of Athletic Administration, Fischler School of Education and Human Services, Nova Southeastern University, North Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Jennifer Reeves, a full-time faculty member at Nova Southeastern University, teaches doctoral level research and statistics courses and administers the Athletic Administration Master’s Program. She received her PhD in educational psychology from Florida State University.