No Significant Difference

About the Database

The No Significant Difference database was first established in 2004 as a companion piece to Thomas L. Russell's book, "The No Significant Difference Phenomenon" (2001, IDECC, fifth edition), a fully indexed, comprehensive research bibliography of 355 research reports, summaries and papers that document no significant differences (NSD) in student outcomes between alternate modes of education delivery.  Redesigned in 2010 and provided as a service of WCET, (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies), a division of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the database was designed to expand the offerings from the book by providing access to appropriate studies published or discovered after its publication.


This site is intended to function as an ever-growing repository of comparative media studies in education research. Both no significant differences (NSD) and significant differences (SD) studies are constantly being solicited for inclusion in the website. In addition to studies that document no significant difference (NSD), the website includes studies which do document significant differences (SD) in student outcomes based on the mode of education delivery.



Contribute to the Collection

In its new home on the DETA Research website, the database is intended to continue to function as an ever-growing repository of comparative media studies in education research. The current collection is in need of both updates to the current records, as well as the addition of current and emerging research.  As such, both NSD and SD studies are constantly being solicited for inclusion in the website.  If you are interested in assisting as a contributor or editor, contact us.

Records: 210

Differences Between Traditional and Distance Education Academic Performances: A meta-analytic approach


Eighty-six experimental and quasi-experimental studies met the established inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis (including data from over 15,000 participating students), and provided effect sizes, clearly demonstrating that: (1) In 2/3rds of the cases, students taking courses by distance education outperformed their student counterparts in the traditionally instructed courses; (2) The overall effect size d+ was calculated as 0.37 standard deviation units (0.33 <95% Confidence Interval . . . <0.40); and (3) This effect on 0.37 indicates that the mean percentile standing of the DE group is at the 65th percentile on the traditional group (mean defined as the 50th percentile).


Significant Difference - Better Results with Technology

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Media in Instruction: 60 Years of Research


The results of several decades of research...can be summed up as no significant difference.


No Significant Difference

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