[Air-l] online education effectiveness

Charles Ess cmess at drury.edu
Mon Sep 11 13:27:14 PDT 2006

>   Does anyone know any good research reports or review articles that deal with
> the effectiveness of online education tools or initiatives? For instance,
> friend told me the The University of Illinois just invested $20 million in
> just trying to assess feasibility of its online education program.
>   So what evidence is out there right now as to whether online education
> tools/programs are effective or cost effective?
to my knowledge, the evidence is very mixed and still very much in flux.

A few years ago when I was working up an article on liberal learning and
distance education, there was much excitement over the "no significant
differences" phenomenon -

what I could find at the time was that students in distance classes could
show greater improvement in terms of basic knowledge, etc. - but that
students in seated / traditional classes showed better improvement in terms
of skill _application_ and judgment, e.g.:

Parker, Drew and Andrew Gemino. (2001) ŒInside Online Learning: Comparing
Conceptual and Technique Learning Performance in Place-based and ALN
Format¹. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (5: 2 - September 2001).

Anyone got more recent data / approaches, etc.?

- c.

Distinguished Research Professor,
Interdisciplinary Studies <http://www.drury.edu/gp21>
Drury University
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