Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Health education--Iowa--Cedar Falls; Health education--Web-based instruction--Iowa--Cedar Falls; University of Northern Iowa--Curricula;


Utilization of online delivery of the lecture component in an undergraduate wellness course is unique and undocumented in research. Wellness courses are traditionally taught with face-to-face lectures plus an activity component. This discipline is distinctive in terms of its activity components that are not conducted online.

The purpose of this study was to investigate two large group face-to-face and online courses to determine if the students enrolled were demographically equivalent and if there were differences in academic achievement in terms of final course grades and between subgroups of students. For the fall 2006 and spring 2007 semesters, 1,814 students were enrolled in the Personal Wellness course.

Chi-square test of independence and independent-samples t -tests results revealed there were demographic differences between the face-to-face and online delivery methods ( p < .05). Significant differences were found for gender, ethnicity, major, ACT scores, and semester course load. Students' final course grades were examined using an independent-samples t -test to determine if students were academically more successful in the face-to-face or online delivery format. No significant differences were discovered in students' final course grades between the two delivery methods ( t (2) = .244, p > .05). ANOVA and independent-samples t -test results revealed significant differences in final course grades among various student subgroups ( p < .05). Differences were found based on gender, ethnicity, major, and year in school.

Based on these results, it was recommended that both face-to-face and online sections of Personal Wellness be offered and that different content be offered to best meet the needs of the diverse students enrolled. A significant difference was found in student subgroups' and their final course grades based on their choice of face-to-face or online delivery. These conclusions should influence how the Personal Wellness course is taught in the future at this particular university. Future research should further examine these characteristics which may have educational impact for teachers, administrators, and students themselves.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

2010 Award

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Lynn Nielsen, Committee Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 118 pages)



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