What Makes the Difference? A Practical Analysis of Research on the Effectiveness of Distance Education
by Yong Zhao, Jing Lei, Bo Yan, Chun Lai & Sophia Tan — 2005
This article reports findings of a meta-analytical study of research on distance education. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that affect the effectiveness of distance education. The results show that although the aggregated data of available studies show no significant difference in outcomes between distance education and face-to-face education as previous research reviews suggest, there is remarkable difference across the studies. Further examination of the difference reveals that distance education programs, just like traditional education programs, vary a great deal in their outcomes, and the outcome of distance education is associated with a number of pedagogical and technological factors. This study led to some important data-driven suggestions for and about distance education.
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