GSC News

GSC Professor Publishes Research on Online and Traditional Learning

Dr. Sherry Jones

Dr. Sherry Jones


For More Information: Dustin Crutchfield
Public Relations Department
Glenville State College
(304) 462-6394

GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State College Professor of Business Dr. Sherry Jones has published an article in the California State University Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT). The March 2013 issue of JOLT featured her research paper on the learning equity between online and traditional classroom mathematics courses. She completed the study with assistance from University of Tennessee at Knoxville Professor Emerita Vena Long.

Her study focused on Quantitative Business Analysis I courses offered both online and in the classroom at GSC from fall 2005 through spring 2011. QBA I is a required course for all business students and focuses on mathematics and quantitative reasoning used in the various business disciplines.

Jones examined ten semesters worth of course grades and initially discovered that students seemed to better succeed in the traditional on-site version of the class. However, after performing additional analysis on the data, she came to a different conclusion. The most recent seven semesters of data showed no significant difference in achievement between the online and on-site students.  When QBA I was first offered online in 2005, students seemed to go through an adjustment period to online learning. Online grades during those initial few semesters were much lower than those of the on-site students. Students who initially chose the online format may have thought this format would be easier than taking the course in the classroom, but this way of thinking proved to be incorrect.

“Quality, equitable learning opportunities are very important to every college student’s future, whether these opportunities are offered in the classroom or online. While online courses certainly offer convenience for some students, professors debate whether equitable learning occurs in online versus onsite course offerings. My research study appears to confirm that equitable learning can occur in online versus onsite mathematics courses,” said Jones. She continues, “After having discussions with several GSC students, some indicate a need for the structure of math lecture and drill in the onsite math course format while others say that they learn just as well on their own. In a world where we must all update our skills continuously, online courses can strengthen disciplined learning in a way that onsite learning does not. These learning skills, including organizing work, meeting deadlines, and successfully navigating new learning, all without daily professor instruction, will serve college graduates well in their future careers.”

Jones graduated from GSC in 1975 with an education degree before completing a master’s in education from West Virginia University in 1984. Most recently, she received a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2008. Jones has been teaching at GSC since 1988. She was the recipient of the Curtis Elam Professor of Teaching Excellence Award in 2008 and was given the Faculty Award of Excellence in 2010.

For more information about her research, contact Jones at or (304) 462-6251. Visit to read the research article in its entirety.

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