ERIC Number: EJ727486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
How Does Distance Education Compare with Classroom Instruction? A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature
Bernard, Robert M.; Abrami, Philip C.; Lou, Yiping; Borokhovsk, Evgueni; Wade, Anne; Wozney, Lori; Wallet, Peter Andrew; Fiset, Manon; Huang, Binru
Review of Educational Research, v74 n3 p379-439 Fall 2004
A meta-analysis of the comparative distance education (DE) literature between 1985 and 2002 was conducted. In total, 232 studies containing 688 independent achievement, attitude, and retention outcomes were analyzed. Overall results indicated effect sizes of essentially zero on all three measures and wide variability. This suggests that many applications of DE outperform their classroom counterparts and that many perform more poorly. Dividing achievement outcomes into synchronous and asynchronous forms of DE produced a somewhat different impression. In general, mean achievement effect sizes for synchronous applications favored classroom instruction, while effect sizes for asynchronous applications favored DE. However, significant heterogeneity remained in each subset.
Descriptors: Distance Education, Effect Size, Academic Achievement, Meta Analysis, Conventional Instruction, Comparative Analysis, Computer Uses in Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A