Evaluating distance learning in clinical laboratory science.

Barbara Landis Russell, Diane Turnbull, Elizabeth Kenimer Leibach, Lester G Pretlow, Ann Arnette, Anne Ranne, Barbara J Kraj, Regina Mobley, Rebecca B Stone

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine if there were any significant differences in academic performance between distance students and on-campus students in clinical laboratory science. DESIGN: A quantitative causal comparative research design was used. SETTING: The research study was conducted at an academic health sciences university in the eastern United States. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Anecdotal graduate data were collected from students that had graduated from the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program. INTERVENTIONS: The students had either received their CLS education via distance or through the traditional on-campus methods. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Academic performance was the major outcome measured. This was determined by comparing distance students' final grade point average (GPA) scores and certification scores to their on-campus counterparts. RESULTS: The researchers found no significant difference in gender between distance and on-campus students; however, there was a significant difference in age. On average the distance students were older than their on-campus counterparts. There were no significant differences found for mean overall admission GPA, mean math science admission GPA, mean final GPA score, and mean certification score. There were also no differences found in any of the subcategories of the certification exam except for urinalysis. For the urinalysis subcategory the distance students significantly outperformed their on-campus counterparts. Correlation studies showed that there were significant positive correlations between overall admission GPAs, math science admission GPAs, final GPA scores, and certification scores. CONCLUSIONS: The researchers have shown that distance learning CLS graduates are as academically prepared as their on-campus counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalClinical laboratory science : journal of the American Society for Medical Technology
Volume20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2007

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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