As public administration programs extend their online education offerings to reach more time- and place-bound students, and as accredited institutions become interested in documenting teaching and learning effectiveness, the degree to which online students are successful as compared to their classroom counterparts is of interest to teaching faculty and others charged with assessment. By comparing student performance measures and assessments of learning experience from both online and traditional sections of a required graduate public administration research methods course taught by the same instructor, this paper provides evidence that student performance as measured by grade is independent of the mode of instruction. Persistence in an online environment may be more challenging in research methods classes than in other public administration classes. Furthermore, participation may be less intimidating, and the quality and quantity of interaction may be increased in online classes.
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