Comparison of Traditional and Nontraditional (Adult Education) Undergraduate Business Programs

By Jonas, Peter M.; Weimer, Don et al. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, September 2001 | Go to article overview

Comparison of Traditional and Nontraditional (Adult Education) Undergraduate Business Programs


Jonas, Peter M., Weimer, Don, Herzer, Kim, Journal of Instructional Psychology


With the increase in the number of non traditional academic programs, debate has raged over the quality of these programs as compared to the traditional format. In order to address this concern, Cardinal Stritch University (CSU) conducted a two-year assessment research project comparing the academic achievement of students in similar traditional and nontraditional adult education undergraduate programs in business. The main goal of the research project was to compare and contrast the academic achievement through pre- and post-assessment by using the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Major Field Achievement Test (MFAT) in business.

Nature of the Problem

Over the past decade the number of nontraditional, adult education programs has increased dramatically in higher education. With this influx of new programs has come a barrage of criticism and questions regarding the academic quality of such programs. Moreover, accreditation organizations are emphasizing assessment as a major component for re-accreditation.

This assessment evidence must demonstrate that significant and favorable learning has occurred between the student's enrollment, graduation, and beyond. One of the major concerns of the University is to provide assessment evidence that satisfies the guidelines set by accrediting agencies. Assessment is also good for the University and helps with continuous improvement. The assessment documentation needs to include undergraduate traditional and nontraditional students' outcomes information (for example test scores).

The "nontraditional student" is a student that attends CSU's College of Business and Management (CBM) accelerated program developed for the working adult student. The delivery system is accelerated; courses are between five to ten weeks in length. The program is designed around the cohort model. Between fourteen to twenty-two students makeup a cohort group. Students attend class as a group one night a week for four hours, taking one course at a time and follow a preset program schedule. The curriculum and instruction are designed specifically for the adult learner. The "traditional student" is a student attending in the traditional fourteen-week format, meeting three to five times per week for fifty to ninety minutes each class. These students attend class independently; not as a cohort group.

Previous Research Studies

Scott and Conrad (1991, pp. 6-66) examined previous research which compared traditional and intensive course formats. Their study ranged from nontraditional courses developed during World War II to the present. Based on the research they reviewed, no significant differences in student learning over time were found to support one type of learning format better than another learning format. Consequently, Scott-Conrad concluded that, "based on the evidence, intensive courses seem to be effective alternatives to traditional-length classes regardless of format, degree of intensity, discipline or field of study--although the research seems to suggest that certain fields of study may benefit more than others" (p. 67).

Lord (1997) compared constructivist teaching to traditional teaching in a year-long study. Lord explains that constructivist educators believe that learners assess new knowledge by associating it with prior experiences, student-centered group activities, and the presentation of only necessary content in a lesson. His study compared two populations of General Biology students taught by the same instructor by two different teaching methods. The same unit exams were given to each group. The constructivist group scored significantly higher on each of the unit exams than their traditional counterparts. In conclusion, Lord justified the results by stating that the constructivist group was able to discuss and formulate their own understandings which helped them integrate and actually apply the knowledge as compared to the traditional learning experience which is strictly memorization of content (pp. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Comparison of Traditional and Nontraditional (Adult Education) Undergraduate Business Programs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.