Purpose/Hypothesis : Advances in technology have motivated collegiate institutions to reformat the learning environment to better suit the needs of students and faculty. The new technological developments have generated alternative designs of educational delivery, such as computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and hybrid learning that are assumed to facilitate the educational opportunities of the students while placing decreased demands on the instructors and available facility space. The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of CAI compared to traditional, face-to-face (F2F) instruction within a physical agents course in a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program.Number of Subjects : A convenience sample of 64 first-year professional-phase students.Materials/Methods : A retrospective, quazi-experimental design was employed for this study. Subjects were enrolled in the same course, and instruction by a singular professor was provided either F2F or CAI based on subject matter. Effectiveness of teaching methods relative to acquisition was determined by percent correct on written examinations throughout the semester. Retention scores were obtained via the final examination at the end of the semester.Results : The Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to compare the effects of CAI and F2F models of education in the acquisition and retention of course material. Two examinationsÕ mean acquisition scores revealed significantly higher scores for the F2F material compared to the CAI material (P<0.001, P=0.003). Analysis of the third examination revealed significantly higher scores for CAI material compared to F2F material (P<0.001). When the 3 tests were combined, no statistically significant difference between the groups (P=0.089) was determined. F2F mean retention scores were found to be significantly higher than the CAI retentions scores (P<0.001).Conclusions : Students demonstrated better knowledge acquisition on F2F instruction with material assessed by 2 examinations; however, CAI yielded superior performance on a third examination. Overall, no difference was found when combining all 3 examination results. The individual difference between the examinations may be attributed to the difficulty of the content presented. F2F instruction allowed for enhanced retention throughout the course as determined by the final examination.Clinical Relevance : Based on the overall results, CAI is an effective alternative method of instruction for knowledge acquisition; however, F2F instruction facilitates superior retention of course material.