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ERIC Number: ED532492
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 76
Abstractor: ERIC
Understanding the Implications of Online Learning for Educational Productivity
Bakia, Marianne; Shear, Linda; Toyama, Yukie; Lasseter, Austin
Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education
The purpose of this report is to support educational administrators and policymakers in becoming informed consumers of information about online learning and its potential impact on educational productivity. The report provides foundational knowledge needed to examine and understand the potential contributions of online learning to educational productivity, including a conceptual framework for understanding the necessary components of rigorous productivity analyses, drawing in particular on cost-effectiveness analysis as an accessible method in education. Five requirements for rigorous cost-effectiveness studies are described: (1) Important design components of an intervention are specified; (2) Both costs and outcomes are measured; (3) At least two conditions are compared; (4) Costs and outcomes are related using a single ratio for each model under study; and (5) Other factors not related to the conditions being studied are controlled or held constant. The report also includes a review of ways that online learning might offer productivity benefits compared with traditional place-based schooling. Unfortunately, a review of the available research that examined the impact of online learning on educational productivity for secondary school students was found to be lacking. No analyses were found that rigorously measured the productivity of an online learning system relative to place-based instruction in secondary schools. Additional resources are appended. (Contains 2 exhibits and 16 footnotes.)
Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 202-401-1444; Fax: 202-401-3941; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education (ED), Office of Educational Technology
IES Cited: ED556232; ED553644