The Effects of Distance Learning: A summary of literature

Michael Moore
Melody Thompson


After a brief review of the characteristics of distance education, this paper provides a review of the literature covering the research of the 1980s on teaching, learning, educational planning, organization, and policy formation as it relates to the use of communications technology in contemporary distance education. The main focus is on interactive telecommunications media, i.e., audio, video, and computer teleconferencing. The broad field of education is reviewed, including higher and continuing education and K-12 (children's) education. The issues that are identified and discussed are not those concerned with the effectiveness of communications media per se, but the effects that their use has on certain educational variables, particularly on learners' achievements and attitudes, on teachers' achievements and attitudes, on course design and curriculum issues, on cost, administration, and organization, and policy making in education. Discussions of the implications of the research findings include the need for strategic planning, media selection and usage, the quality of interaction, documentation, and policy research. A 94-item annotated bibliography is provided.



Provides a review of the research and literature on distance education from the 1980's.
94 different items are reviewed
Most of this information is outdated today, but does provide a good history of the literature

APA Citation

Moore, M. G., & Thompson, M. M. (1990). The Effects of Distance Learning: A Summary of Literature. Research Monograph Number 2.

About the Study

Links to Article
Publication Type Report
In Publication Research Monograph
Type of Research Review of literature
Research Design Not applicable
Intervention/Areas of Study
Level of Analysis
Specific Populations Examined
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest
Student Sample Size 0-99
Citing Articles,50&sciodt=0,50&hl=en