Student Attitudes Toward Poverty In A Social Welfare Policy Course: Online Versus Face To Face

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Leah Hamilton, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: The growth of online higher education has presented important questions for social workers in academia. Can a human-based profession be properly taught online? In macro courses, are social work students able to gain a complex understanding of human experience, social justice, and oppression without the benefit of face-to-face debate and dialogue? In an undergraduate social welfare policy course, pre and post anonymous opinions surveys were collected on the causes of poverty. Students in both a face-to-face and an online course section, were asked to rate their agreement with the statements “Poverty is usually caused by individual actions” and “Poverty is usually caused by societal actions.” While no statistically significant changes appeared for face-to-face students, online students were more likely to decrease blame for individual actions and increased attribution for societal actions at posttest. Reasons for this difference will be discussed, including the possible role of peer influence in face-to-face course sessions.

Additional Information

Hamilton, L. and Daughtry, L. (2017). "Student Attitudes Toward Poverty in a Social Welfare Policy Course: Online Versus Face to Face." SAGE Open, April-June 2017: 1-4. DOI: 10.1177/2158244017709326. Version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2017
distance learning, higher education, education, social sciences, curriculum, politics and social sciences, political science, social work

Email this document to