The Relationship Between Learning Mode and Student Performance in an Undergraduate Elementary Statistics Course in the United States


  • John C. Griffith Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Emily K. Faulconer Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Bobby L. McMasters Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University



distance learning, online education, quality in higher education, student performance, grade distribution


Faculty have conducted many studies on the relationship between learning mode and student performance but few researchers have evaluated final grades, grade distribution, and pass rates in a sophomore introductory statistics course with a non-traditional student population who self-selected the learning mode from among different course sections. Accordingly, we examined 307 end-of-course grades from four different modes of instruction: (a) online, (b) videosynchronous learning classroom, (c) videosynchronous learning home, and (d) traditional classroom in an introductory statistics course. All data on grades, which included pass rate and grade distribution, were collected from the nine-week January 2019 term. All learning modes used the same text, syllabus, assignments, quizzes, and tests. In this study, learning mode was not significantly related to end-of-course score, final grade distribution, or pass rate. Future researchers should explore the impacts of gender, instructor quality, different term lengths, and the standardized use of textbooks and syllabi on student performance when exploring the impact of learning mode on grades, grade distribution, and pass rates.

Author Biographies

John C. Griffith, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Dr. John Griffith is an Associate Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, College of Arts and Sciences, STEM Education Department.

Emily K. Faulconer , Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Dr. Emily Faulconer is an Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, College of Arts and Sciences, STEM Education Department.

Bobby L. McMasters, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Dr. Bobby McMasters is an Associate Professor of the Practice at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, College of Arts and Sciences, STEM Education Department.  He also is the Program Chair for the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies.


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How to Cite

Griffith, J. C., Faulconer , E. K., & McMasters, B. L. (2021). The Relationship Between Learning Mode and Student Performance in an Undergraduate Elementary Statistics Course in the United States. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 22(1), 166–179.



Research Articles