Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Newman, Michael E.

Committee Member

Brenner, Devon G.

Committee Member

Wimmer, Gaea.

Committee Member

Threadgill, Paula I.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agriculture Science Education and Extension

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Technology has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives. It is not surprising then that technology has made its way into the classroom. More and more educators are utilizing technological resources in creative ways with the intent to enhance learning, including using virtual laboratories in the sciences in place of the “traditional” science laboratories. This has generated much discussion as to the influence on student achievement when online learning replaces the face-toace contact between instructor and student. The purpose of this study was to discern differences in achievement of two laboratory instruction types: virtual laboratory and a traditional laboratory. Results of this study indicate statistical significant differences in student achievement defined by averages on quiz scores in virtual labs compared with traditional face-toace laboratories and traditional laboratories result in greater student learning gains than virtual labs. Lecture exam averages were also greater for students enrolled in the traditional laboratories compared to students enrolled in the virtual laboratories. To account for possible differences in ability among students, a potential extraneous variable, GPA and ACT scores were used as covariates.