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

Virtual Teaching in Higher Education


J. Schutte


Results indicate the virtual students scored an average of 20 points higher on the 100 point midterm and final exams… All differences are highly significant.


Significant Difference – Better Results with Technology

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Determining if Instructional Delivery Model Differences Exist in Remedial English


L. Carter


The purpose of this causal comparative study is to test the theory of no significant difference that compares pre- and post-test assessment scores, controlling for the instructional delivery model of online and face-to-face students at a Mid-Atlantic university. Online education and virtual distance learning programs have increased in popularity and enrollment since their inception. Students tend to enroll in online courses for their flexibility and convenience and find online courses to be just . . . as challenging as face-to-face courses (Pastore & Carr-Chellman, 2009). Russell (1999) conducted a meta-analysis which found that there were no significant differences between the modes of class delivery on student achievement and learning. Current research supports this analysis; it has been shown that students and instructors perceive online learning to be just as effective as face-to-face (Liaw, Huang, & Chen, 2007). Bloom’s Taxonomy has been used to structure the thinking process in education. Elevating an awareness of pedagogical shifting across delivery models will likely lead to more effective university teaching in both face-to-face and distance programs (Girod & Wojcikiewicz, 2009). Utilizing an ANCOVA, research was conducted pre and post instruction that determined differences existed based on the instructional delivery model in a remedial English course favoring face-to-face instruction. Further, regarding the occurrence of higher order thinking skills, statistical analysis based on a t-test indicated that online students more frequently exhibit this skill versus students enrolled in face-to-face instruction.

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