Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials | Ithaka S+R

Yet another no-significant-difference paper.

I’d feel a lot more positive towards this report if its abstract did not begin “Online learning is quickly gaining in importance in U.S. higher education, but little rigorous evidence exists as to its effect on student learning outcomes”

For all the ‘rigour’ of their review, it appears that they failed to do the literature review because an absolutely massive amount of rigorous evidence exists about this that shows exactly the same thing. Anyway, here is some more. And, like all the rest, the graphs look nice but otherwise it is pretty pointless. Like all the rest, you might just as well look at the effect of transistors or buildings on student learning outcomes. It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it, that’s what’s missing here.

For the record, they are not actually looking at online learning but at blended (or, as they prefer, ‘hybrid’) approaches. 

Address of the bookmark:

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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