Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies

A systematic search of the research literature from 1996 through July 2008 identified more than a thousand empirical studies of online learning. Analysts screened these studies to find those that (a) contrasted an online to a face-to-face condition, (b) measured student learning outcomes, (c) used a rigorous research design, and (d) provided adequate information to calculate an effect size. As a result of this screening, 51 independent effects were identified that could be subjected to meta-analysis. The meta-analysis found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.

Full report available as a public PDF.


At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Wendy Towers said...

Just over the past several months, as I've been involved in my Ed Tech program and learned more information about constructivism and student-centered learning, I can say that the minor changes I've made in my own teaching strategies to adjust to digital-native learners and the technology standards that are now inplace have produced noticable differences in my students' achievements. Though the changes have been subtle and the achievements as well, the differences are evident. It seems logical that when an individual is given ownership of something, they are more apt to make better work and progress with it. This holds true with students and their learning processes.

We have to break from the "ld school"mold that students must absorb information from instructors and allow them to peer teach and explore and learn on their own given the appropriate tools and guidance. This does require a great deal of planning and clear goals, which, at time, is better established through trial and error (as I have found out myself).

The only pitfall is availability and time. Though we are required to meet certain technology standards, there are limited resources for accessing and implementing. However, my goal in this upcoming school year, is to develop different work stations through which the students can rotate, which will hopefully provide everyone with ample opportnities to access, synthesize, and apply technology to my curriculum and its content.

At 3:24 AM, Blogger Reshmi Basu said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:41 AM, Blogger Reshmi Basu said...

When I first read this post I found the statistics quite surprising as I always thought that nothing could ever replace the face-to-face learning interface. But after enrolling in my first online course, I too agree that online learning enforces the self-initiated process of infomation synthesis which results in the devlopment of analytical thinking among learners.

I think that the findings of this research is reinforced by the learning pyramid which states that lecture style learning has only about 5% rentention capacity as opposed to more hands-on learning experience such online-learning or learning through teaching others which involves doing something more with the information in hand. If I remember it right, the retention capacity for the later is about 95%.


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