An Easy “A”? Online vs. Face-to-Face Grades

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The number of online courses, programs and enrollment has seen rapid growth as online courses are increasingly viewed by education leaders as being equal or even superior to instruction conducted face-to-face. Research investigating the performance of students taking online courses compared to face-to-face courses has, however, been mixed. These studies tend to focus on a few classes or few subjects and often do not control for differences in the differences in the students that self-select into courses using the two teaching methods. This study compares course grades students received taking online and face-to-face courses. The sample includes hundreds of courses taught by hundreds of faculty members over a period of ten academic terms. Efforts are made to control for many of the attributes influencing course type in which the students enroll.