Have you seen this: Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies (2009) or, if you prefer a lighter read, the article in the New York times: Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom?
Thanks to Daniel Methot on the French Moodle forum for telling us about this.
Thanks for the post,
In science "No significant difference" is NOT "the same"
NSD means that the researchers failed to ask a question that would show a difference in the experience and future of the students.
It MIGHT mean that there is no such question. Or it might mean that we are not asking the important question(s).
It has been seen in may studies that students who took online classes performed better than those who learned in a classroom. Read more about online teaching and teaching - http://www.wiziq.com/teaching-online/?utm_source=bl&utm_medium=swiz&utm_campaign=b321
Thanks for sharing Glenys!
I'm familiar with this particular DoE meta-analysis. My take from it is that the researchers concluded that the learning and teaching approaches used had a more significant effect than the modality of communication, i.e. face to face vs. online.
Advocates from one camp or the other can happily "cherry pick" research evidence to support their claims. Overall, I think the evidence is quite reasuring that online learning is at least as effective as face to face.
Something you might find interesting is a research paper on a 3 year blended learning project that uses principles of Socio-Cultural Theory quite ambitiously:
Designs for Collective Cognitive Responsibility in Knowledge-Building Communities: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10508400802581676
Well, the title of this entry is a bit misleading. If you read the study, the findings weren't exactly that "online education beat the classroom." A more precisely-stated finding from the study was that blended learning (traditional classroom learning blended with modern, electronic tools often used in distance environments) showed better results than straight face-to-face teaching.
This isn't surprising, as good educators have always found ways to exploit all the tools available to them in their quest to get the most out of their students, and to help their students get the most out of their class.
This is right that online education beats the classrooms but the exact meaning is that online education have the more options and using the techniques so that the students learn more efficiently.