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In-Class vs. Online Experiments: Is There a Difference?


  • Linda K. Carter
  • Tisha L. N. Emerson


Classroom experiments in economics continue to increase in popularity. While early experiments were often hand-run in class, now computerized online experiments are also widely available. Using a quasiexperimental approach, the authors investigated whether any difference in student achievement (as measured by course scores and the Test of Understanding in College Economics (TUCE) (Saunders 1991)) or other outcomes exists between students exposed to experiments in class and students exposed to them online. In this investigation, class sections differed only in the manner through which the experiments were administered: manually in class; or computerized online. The authors found no significant difference in student achievement or overall views of the course or instructor between the two treatments. The authors did, however, find that students exposed to hand-run experiments report more favorable views of the experimental pedagogy and report higher levels of interaction with their classmates.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda K. Carter & Tisha L. N. Emerson, 2012. "In-Class vs. Online Experiments: Is There a Difference?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 4-18, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:43:y:2012:i:1:p:4-18 DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2011.636699

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Todd Kaplan, 2006. "Why banks should keep secrets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 27(2), pages 341-357, January.
    2. Shy Oz & Stenbacka Rune, 2008. "Rethinking the Roles of Banks: A Call for Narrow Banking," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-4, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alcalde, Pilar & Nagel, Juan, 2015. "Does active learning improve student performance? A randomized experiment in a Chilean university," MPRA Paper 68994, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Sam Allgood & William B. Walstad & John J. Siegfried, 2015. "Research on Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(2), pages 285-325, June.

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