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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 Experiment in Group Learning Technology: Evaluating Critical Thinking in Face-to-face and computer-supported Seminars.


D. Newman

C. Johnson

C. Cochrane

B. Webb


In an experiment studying critical thinking in a teacher-guided (F2F) and computer-supported (CS) group learning environment, significant differences were found between CS and F2F. CS brought in more outside world material, linked ideas to solutions and contributed less. However the level of CS critical thinking was higher, and had a higher ratio of important statements. F2F on the other hand was slightly better at generating new ideas.

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The Effectiveness of Computer-based Adult Education: A Meta-analysis


C. Kulik

J. Kulik

B. Shwalb


… when CBI is used, achievement is moderately higher than or equal to that obtained from conventional instruction. when efficiency is the criterion, CAI is significantly better than conventional instruction, in the range of 10-35% savings of instructional time.


Significant Difference – Better Results with Technology

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