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

An Analysis of the Use of Virtual Delivery of Undergraduate Lectures


The results in this paper have shown that when virtual lectures are used in place of traditional delivery methods there is no significant difference in attainment level as measured by end of year examination marks.


No Significant Difference

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Learning Equity between Online and On-Site Mathematics Courses


This paper reports on a research study that focused on equity in learning as reflected inthe final grades of online and on-site students from the same post-secondary mathematics course taught repeatedly over 10 semesters from Fall 2005 through Spring 2011. On-site students attended regular class sessions, while online students onlyattended an orientation session and a final exam. Mean final course grades for all online and on-site students were compared statistically to see if there was a . . . significant difference in learning. The findings revealed significant differences in online and on-site students final grades, in favor of on-site student achievement. Statistical tests were also conducted on a number of subsets drawn from all students' final grades in order to search for any underlying nuances that might exist. When the first three semesters ofdata were removed from the data set, no significant difference was found between the mean scores for on-site and online students for the seven most recent semesters. It is reasonable to conclude that it is possible for students in both on-site and online sections of a course to achieve equity in mathematics learning as measured by final course grades

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