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Version 1.1 – Updated August 2021

Distance education

Overview

  • Influence: Distance education
  • Domain: Technology, School, and Out-of-School Strategies
  • Sub-Domain: Out-of-school
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Likely to have a small positive impact
  • Influence Definition: The various uses of technologies in situations where the student is remote from the teacher and often not part of a regular classroom of students.

Evidence

  • Number of meta-analyses: 21
  • Number of studies: 1,288
  • Number of students: 4,075,851
  • Number of effects: 2,121
  • Effect size: 0.17

Meta-Analyses

Meta-Analyses
Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
The American Journal of Distance Education Machtmes & Asher USA A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of telecourses in distance education 1987 Effectiveness of telecourses 19 0 19 -0.01
International Journal of Educational Telecommunications Cavanaugh USA The effectiveness of interactive distance education technologies in K-12 learning: A meta-analysis. 1999 Interactive distance learning on achievement 19 0 19 0.13
Learning Point Associates/North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) Cavanaugh USA The effects of distance education on K-12 student outcomes: A meta-analysis. 2001 Interactive distance education 19 929 19 0.15
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning Shachar & Neumann USA Differences Between Traditional and Distance Education Academic Performances: A Meta-Analytic Approach 2003 Distance vs. traditional teaching 72 15,300 86 0.37
Journal of Communication Allen, Mabry, Mattrey, Bourhis, Titsworth, & Burrell USA Evaluating the Effectiveness of Distance Learning: A Comparison Using Meta-Analysis 2004 Distance vs. traditional classes 25 71,731 39 0.10
Journal of Computing in Higher Education Bernard, Borokhovski, Schmid, Tamim & Abrami A meta-analysis of blended learning and technology use in higher education 2014 Distance education 117 0 117 0.39
Teachers College Record Means et al. The effectiveness of online and blended learning: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature 2013 Distance education 27 0 27 0.05
Teachers College Record Zhao, Yan, & Tun What makes the difference? A practical analysis of research on the effectiveness of distance education. 2003 Distance education 98 0 98 0.10
Learning Point Associates/North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL Cavanaugh, Gillan, Kromrey, Hess, & Blomeyer USA The Effects of Distance Education on K-12 Student Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis 2004 Distance in all classes 14 7,561 116 -0.03
Report to Council of Ministers Canada and Industry Canada Ungerleider & Burns A systematic review of the effectiveness and efficiency of networked ICT in education 2003 Networked vs traditional 8 1,324 8 0.00
European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning Jahng, Krug & Zhang Student achievement in online distance education compared to face-to-face education. 2007 Online distance education 20 1,617 20 0.02
Unpublished Thesis Williams USA A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Distance Education in Allied Health Science Programs 2004 Distance in Allied Health Science programs 25 0 34 0.15
Association for Educational Communications and Technology Bernard, Abrami, Lou, Wozney, Borokhovski, Wallet, Wade, & Fiset Canada The Effects of Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Education: A Meta-Analytical Assessment of Simonson's "Equivalency Theory" 2004 Distance education 232 3,831,888 688 0.01
Distance Education Bernard, Abrami, Lou, Wozney, Borokhovski, Wallet, Wade, & Fiset Canada A methodological morass? How we can improve quantitative research in distance education. 2004 Presence or Not: Asynchronous and Synchronous 155 0 155 -0.02
American Journal of Distance Education Allen, Bourhis, Mabry, Burrell, & Timmerman USA Comparing student satisfaction with distance education to traditional classrooms in higher education: A meta-analysis. 2006 Distance vs. traditional teaching 54 74,275 54 0.09
Educational Technology Research and Development Lou, Bernard, & Abrami USA Media and Pedagogy in Undergraduate Distance Education: A Theory-Based Meta-Analysis of Empirical Literature 2006 Distance education in undergraduates 103 0 218 0.02
Teachers College Record Zhao, Lei, Yan, Lai, & Tan USA What Makes the Difference? A Practical Analysis of Research on the Effectiveness of Distance Education 2005 Distance vs. traditional classes 51 11,477 98 0.10
Review of Educational Research Bernard, Abrami, Borokhovski, & Lou A Meta-Analysis of Three Types of Interaction Treatments in Distance Education 2009 Most interactive distance vs. least interactive distance 34 32,000 74 0.39
European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning Jahng, Krug & Zhang Student achievement in online distance education compared to face-to-face education. 2011 On line vs face to face 20 1,617 20 0.02
Unpublished Thesis Roberts USA Best Instructional Practices for Distance Education: A Meta-Analysis 2011 Web based distance learning 59 0 86 0.55
JAMA Cook, Levinson, Garside, Dupras, Erwin, & Montori Canada Internet-based learning in the health professions: a meta-analysis. 2008 Distance internet learning 117 26,132 126 1.00
TOTAL/AVERAGE 1,288 4,075,851 2,121 0.17

Confidence

The Confidence is the average of these four measures, each divided into five approximately equal groups and assigned a value from 1 to 5 based on the following criteria:

  • Number of Meta-analyses
    • 1 = 1
    • 2 = 2–3
    • 3 = 4–6
    • 4 = 7–9
    • 5 = 10+
  • Number of Studies
    • 1 = 1–10
    • 2 = 11–50
    • 3 = 51–200
    • 4 = 201–400
    • 5 = 400+
  • Number of Students
    • 1 = 1–2,500
    • 2 = 2,501–10,000
    • 3 = 10,000–20,000
    • 4 = 20,000–100,000
    • 5 = 100,001+
  • Number of Effects
    • 1 = 1–100
    • 2 = 101–300
    • 3 = 301–600
    • 4 = 601–1,200
    • 5 = 1,200+
Confidences
Number of Meta-Analyses Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Overall Confidence
Confidence Factor 5 5 5 5 5
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