Evaluation of student outcomes in online vs. campus biostatistics education in a graduate school of public health

John McGready, Ron Brookmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To compare student outcomes between concurrent online and on-campus sections of an introductory biostatistics course offered at a United States school of public health in 2005. Methods: Enrolled students (95 online, 92 on-campus) were invited to participate in a confidential online survey. The course outcomes were compared between the two sections adjusting for differences in student characteristics. Results: Seventy-two online (76%) and 66 (72%) on-campus enrollees participated. Unadjusted final exam scores for the online and on-campus sections were respectively 85.1 and 86.3 (p = 0.50) in term 1, and 87.8 and 86.8 (p = 0.51) in term 2. After adjustment for student characteristics, the average difference in scores between the two sections was - 1.5 (95% CI: - 5.4, 2.5) in term 1, and 0.8 (95% CI: - 2.7, 4.3) in term 2. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that online and on-campus course formats of an introductory biostatistics course in a graduate school of public health can achieve similar student outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-144
Number of pages3
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013



  • Biostatistics education
  • Online education
  • Online learning
  • Online teaching
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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