A comparative study of student performance in traditional mode and online mode of learning

Qiping Shen, Jacky K.H. Chung, D. I. Challis, Ronnie C.T. Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


There has been interest for many decades in comparing the effectiveness of technology-delivered instruction with traditional face-to-face teaching and measurable student outcomes have been an important indicator. Having pointed to salient aspects of the current academic environment and to some of the key literature in this area, this article analyses the performance of two groups of students studying in the traditional mode and the online mode in a masters program delivered by a Department of Computing at a university in Hong Kong. Over 2,000 students have participated in the study between 2000 and 2004. This article includes a comparison of the results between different delivery modes of study each year as well as between different classes over the 4-year period. Although traditional mode students have achieved a slightly better performance in examinations in comparison with online mode students, the article concludes that there are no significant differences in overall performance between the students. With the impact of technologies on higher education and the demands of a complex and rapidly changing society in the 21st century, this Hong Kong study contributes to the literature that finds mode of study is not a key determinant of success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Applications in Engineering Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007


  • Computing: postgraduate
  • E-learning
  • Hong Kong
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education
  • General Engineering


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