[LINK] Two views on online Learning

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Mon Aug 9 16:13:35 AEST 2010

At 03:40 PM 9/08/2010, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>Prior to the Spring 2007 semester, the instructor of the class offered
>students the opportunity to participate in the experiment. Of nearly
>1,600 registered students, 327 volunteered to take part and, in return,
>were given a half letter boost in their grade at the end of the semester.
>The volunteers were randomly assigned to watching the lecture live or to
>watching the lecture online. Measures were taken to ensure that
>instruction delivery was made only in the manner in which students were
>randomly assigned.

And the results?

>"But we did find modest evidence that live-only instruction results 
>in higher learning outcomes than Internet instruction."
>The study, "Is it Live or is it Internet? Experimental Estimates of 
>the Effects of Online Instruction on Student Learning," is by no 
>means definitive, according to Figlio. It does, however, provide the 
>first "apples-to-apples" comparison of live versus online delivery 
>of traditional classes.

"modest". Statistically significant? How were controls made to ensure 
these differences? How did they know the remote students were 
actually "watching" the presentations? This is not a very good study 
if those controls weren't in place.

And if they only changed the content delivery part and nothing else 
that comes with an online system, they aren't comparing the two 
systems, just a part of each system.

Not impressed.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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