Faculty Research at Morehead State University


An Investigation of Student Performance, Student Satisfaction, and Learner Characteristics in Online Versus Face-to-Face Classes

Document Type


Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to investigate student performance, student satisfaction, and learner characteristics in online versus face-to-face delivery formats in accounting. Forty-four students, enrolled in either the face-to-face or online section of an accounting course, completed a survey assessing satisfaction, learning outcomes, and learner characteristics. Significant differences were found regarding satisfaction with learning and perception of the instructor. However, online learners displayed similar traits as their face-to-face counterparts. In addition, researchers compared pre-test / post test, homework, quiz, and exam scores to determine if delivery method affected learning. A significant difference was found between face-to-face and online students in post-test performance. Overall, the results of this study suggest that students perform as well in an online course as they do in a traditional face-to-face classroom and learner characteristics are similar for both online students and face-to-face classroom students. Post-test results indicate that students in an online class do not retain the information as well as those in a face-to-face class. These results, like others, show that online instructors continue to face challenges in promoting student participation and interaction in the course and overall satisfaction with learning. There is a need to replicate this study in other online courses in different disciplines.