School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Joanne Gilbreath


Traditional Classroom, Online Classroom, Forensic Science, Self-Efficacy, Sense of Community, Task Value


Education | Online and Distance Education


Student enrollment in undergraduate online education continues in an increasing trend toward the creation of new virtual degree programs. Academia and university faculty have observed comparable learning outcomes in both traditional and online classrooms, but minimal research exists discussing student perspectives of science-based coursework in these two learning environments. A specific discipline within scientific programs which continues to demand student interest is Forensic Science degree programs. Forensic Science coursework requires tangible application of content learning in addition to confidence in task completion. Forensic Science also necessitates a sense of connectedness amongst a team of individuals, as peer collaboration and discovery are essential. Therefore, developing an understanding of student self-efficacy, task value, and sense of community in Forensic Science classrooms is essential to promoting effective degree programs in both the traditional and online classrooms. This quasi-experimental nonequivalent group design research study sought to examine these variables within a Forensic Science Criminal Investigation course in a large, private university within comparable classrooms in the traditional and online classrooms. Data were collected from student surveys using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) self-efficacy and task-value subscales and the Classroom Community Scale (CCS) to measure the sense of community. The research results demonstrated a statistically significant difference between students’ classroom modality (traditional and online) when analyzing sense of community but no statistical significance was identified in student’s self-efficacy and task value based on classroom modality.