Evaluating the effectiveness of distance learning: A comparison using meta-analysis.

Mike Allen
Edward Mabry
Michelle Mattrey
John Bourhis
Scott Titsworth
Nancy Burrell


This article uses meta-analysis to summarize the quantitative literature comparing the performance of students in distance education versus traditional classes. The average effect (average r=.048, k= 39, N= 71,731) demonstrates that distance education course students slightly outperformed traditional students on exams and course grades. The average effect was heterogeneous, and the examination of several moderating features (presence or absence of simultaneous interaction, type of channel used in distance education, and course substance) failed to produce a homogeneous solution. The results demonstrate, however, no clear decline in educational effectiveness when using distance education technology.


APA Citation

Allen, M., Mabry, E., Mattrey, M., Bourhis, J., Titsworth, S., & Burrell, N. (2004). Evaluating the effectiveness of distance learning: A comparison using meta-analysis. Journal of Communication, 54, 402-420.

About the Study

Links to Article https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/42650891/Evaluating_the_Effectiveness_of_Distance20160213-7352-1dio1ye.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1527032517&Signature=WHqyGdVzNJXuPrh%2FCLIwV9tqk5k%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DEvaluating_the_Effectiveness_of_Distance.pdf
Mode Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Journal of Communication
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Meta-analysis
Intervention/Areas of Study Course design
Level of Analysis Student-level
Specific Populations Examined Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest Academic achievement or performance, including assessment scores and course grades
Student Sample Size
Citing Articles https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=11568256302685315234&as_sdt=5,50&sciodt=0,50&hl=en