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: http://www.sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/interactive-learning-online-public-universities-evidence-randomized-trials

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology and teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems, of which I am the Chair.
I am married, with two grown-up children, and live in beautiful Vancouver.

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