What makes the difference? A practical analysis of research on the effectiveness of distance education

Yong Zhao, Jing Lei, Bo Yan, Chun Lai, Hueyshan Sophia Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1836-1884
Number of pages49
JournalTeachers College Record
Volume107
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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