This meta-analysis of the experimental literature of distance education (DE) compares different types of interaction treatments (ITs) with other DE instructional treatments. ITs are the instructional and/or media conditions designed into DE courses, which are intended to facilitate student–student (SS), student– teacher (ST), or student–content (SC) interactions. Seventy-four DE versus DE studies that contained at least one IT are included in the meta-analysis, which yield 74 achievement effects. The effect size valences are structured so that the IT or the stronger IT (i.e., in the case of two ITs) serve as the experimental condition and the other treatment, the control condition. Effects are categorized as SS, ST, or SC. After adjustment for methodological quality, the overall weighted average effect size for achievement is 0.38 and is heterogeneous. Overall, the results support the importance of the three types of ITs and strength of ITs is found to be associated with increasing achievement outcomes. A strong association is found between strength and achievement for asynchronous DE courses compared to courses containing mediated synchronous or face-to-face interaction. The results are interpreted in terms of increased cognitive engagement that is presumed to be promoted by strengthening ITs in DE courses.
Distance education, Meta-analysis, Student interaction, Interaction treatment
Meta-analysis gain popularity in the realm of distance education (DE) research as it synthesize comparative studies of classroom interaction (CI) and interactions in DE settings. This study shed light on the significance of DE to DE comparison and shows design and implementation of within DE can make a difference in student learning and satisfaction. Three types of interaction are identified: Student-student (SS), student-teacher(ST), and student-content(SC) interactions. The result of meta-analysis indicates that ST interaction are less effective compared to other two interactions. The authors assume this is because of complicated implementation of ST interaction. They also found that overall interaction treatment improved students’ achievement. Especially combination of SS interaction and SC interaction as well as ST interaction and SC interaction were significant, but SS interaction and ST interaction was not. Asynchronous, synchronous and mixed distance types of distance education made no difference on student achievement but mixed distance education falls behind when it comes to student attitude. Also, meta-analysis indicates that strength of student-content interactions in asynchronous setting affects more than other settings.
Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Borokhovski, E., Wade, C. A., Tamim, R. M., Surkes, M. A., & Bethel, E. C. (2009). A meta-analysis of three types of interaction treatments in distance education. Review of Educational research, 79(3), 1243-1289.
|Links to Article||https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/40469094.pdf?casa_token=6tT1ceBZKv0AAAAA:PXJUG70dqW-YDzloeQkfzbQ5xb6JnwGXvPFsqE-uUminN-x7fJ1Lmzu_zFJx_4rqg2wZL1mDQQqPXxUclW2IVb4EiOjz-p2Pti9WQGx7N6CakJi9H40R|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|In Publication||Review of Educational Research|
|Type of Research||Review of Literature|
|Research Design||Experiments, Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)|
|Intervention/Areas of Study||Instructor-student interactions, Student-student interactions|
|Level of Analysis||Student-level|
|Specific Populations Examined||Undergraduates|
|Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest||Bachelors-granting|
|Specific Course or Program Characteristics|
|Outcome Variables of Interest||Academic achievement or performance, including assessment scores and course grades|
|Student Sample Size||500 +|